Health care in Africa that covers the well being of mother and children is not really something to write home about but here are some ways i have found i can be solved.
Building healthy and secure societies worldwide depends on the well-being of women and children. But since 2011, development aid for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health (also known as RMNCAH) has stopped following decades of consistent expansion. It is thought that there is a $60 billion difference each year in how much is spent on health care in Africa alone.
To close this gap, governments need to work more carefully and strategically to include the private sector, both at home and abroad, in their plans for getting universal health care (UHC).
Recent Devel research, funded by MSD for Mothers, shows opportunities for the global health community to expand beyond traditional charity and improve private sector engagement for improved outcomes.
The report, Partner for Progress: Advancing Private-Sector Approaches to Achieve the SDGs, demonstrates how stakeholders in the global health space see a growing opportunity to work with the private sector, particularly when it comes to enhancing health workforces, enhancing access to medical products and services, and improving the quality and sustainability of healthcare.
According to a bold private-sector engagement policy released by USAID in December 2018, the private sector is “one of the most potent drivers for raising lives, strengthening communities, and driving countries to self-reliance.”
The truth is that the private sector is already making significant contributions to the health ecosystem in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in a variety of ways, such as by participating in supply-chain systems and delivering goods to the last mile; producing the medications that patients require and providing them to local pharmacists; developing the I.T. networks and digital technologies that are increasingly being used for health; and providing resources for medical education and funding. Patients are already receiving a large number of healthcare services from private-sector providers.
Current Care Obstacles
There are numerous current, definable barriers to healthcare, and occasionally more than one barrier simultaneously interferes with women’s and children’s access to high-quality care. The third Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations (U.N.) is to promote and ensure healthy living for people of all ages. The first two goals of this goal especially aim to enhance mother and child health. However, to do so, current gaps must be filled.
The following are some of the obstacles limiting the achievement of these targets:
Women are unable to seek treatment promptly because of a lack of knowledge. The potential to reduce the mortality rate in the region depends on educating and empowering pregnant women and mothers with prevention measures and access to emergency treatment because many of the causes of maternal and infant deaths in the region are preventable. With the help of both the public and private sectors and digital technologies, this gap could be closed even more.
Distance to medical facilities, inadequate infrastructure or transportation, the cost of specialized care, and the pressure on public facilities all lead to delays in or inability to get care when required.
Because of the high service delivery costs, access to care is made more difficult for poor women. Not all people have health insurance like in wealthy countries.
Medicine and equipment shortages
Most hospitals lack the necessary infrastructure, tools, and medications for mother and child health. In other cases, some facilities can’t use the equipment they already have because they don’t have a reliable source of electricity, they have to pay a lot for maintenance, or they don’t have knowledgeable operational staff.
Inadequate nutrition increases the risk of morbidity and mortality in women and children, particularly those with severe acute malnutrition who are susceptible to fatal infections such as malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea.
Malnourished children don’t develop their brains as well, which makes it hard for them to learn. This is a factor in about 45% of all deaths of children under the age of five every year.
How can this issue with maternal and child health care be resolved?
Governments shouldn’t duplicate these responsibilities since they lack the funding, competence, or knowledge to do so. This is something that many nations, including Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, and Senegal, are aware of and are modifying their attitudes and policies towards.
Governments can and should work with the private sector in three important ways to lower the death rate of mothers and improve the health of women and children in general:
1. Improving the effectiveness of new development financing methods
By coming up with creative ways to pay for the ambitious RMNCAH goal, the private sector could play a big role in filling the funding gap.
Financing methods frequently employed in the investment industry can aid in bringing in more resources, particularly private capital, for social effect. Private investors and big businesses are working with humanitarian organizations, foundations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to raise money for projects that save lives.
For instance, the first maternal health impact bond was introduced in India by the UBS Optimus Foundation, MSD for Mothers, USAID, and regional implementation groups around a year ago. By raising the standard of private maternity care in Rajasthan, a state with a high burden of disease, Turkish seeks to lower the incidence of maternal and infant fatalities.
Such mechanisms support governments and donors in allocating funds to achieve certain goals and guarantee that implementers receive the initial financing they require to innovate and succeed. Nigeria’s Basic Health Care Provision Fund is part of a larger plan to bring in more money at a time when state funds are decreasing.
2. Using local private healthcare providers to supplement health-care systems
In many low-and middle-income nations, the local private sector significantly promotes health. Yet, it is frequently disregarded and left out of national insurance programs and quality improvement initiatives. This is a problem because local doctors, nurses, midwives, and community health workers care for more than 40% of the women in these countries who go to services for family planning and maternal health.
Women may favor private care for various reasons, including accessibility to their homes; adaptability in terms of hours; perceived quality; individualized attention; and sensitivity to regional requirements, cultures, and customs. The reach and capability of private providers should be utilized, and these providers should be a part of national quality improvement programs. This will guarantee that the health system is of high quality.
As Steve Davis, CEO of the healthcare group PATH, points out, we don’t only mean multinational corporations when we say “private sector.” The frontline private-sector provider is the most significant participant in the market.
3. Making use of the private sector’s knowledge and innovation
A few examples of the private sector’s unique capabilities, outside of financial contributions, include product development, information technology, data analytics, and supply chain.
These capabilities can accelerate, more effectively and with greater impact, the improvement of health and development. According to Raj Kumar, CEO of Devel, “Money is crucial, but if that’s all we think we’re getting from the private sector, we’re missing the boat.”
Hopefully this will help Africans make a better choicer it comes to their women and children well being because their feature depends on it.