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African Health


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Assignment 06.
Question 1.1
Discussing the factors which led to poor health in most African countries and explaining some of the consequences that are experienced as a result of poor health care.
Africa is a third world continent meaning that all African countries are not yet fully developed and are still in the development stage. The underdevelopment makes Africa a victim of poor health care. Only a few have access to proper adequate healthcare leaving masses with poor healthcare Health conditions in Africa lag behind all other developed Eastern and Western countries and life expectancy is far less than that of developed countries (Health Poverty
Action, 2015). Poverty and health worldwide are inextricably linked (Health Poverty Action,
2005). This assignment will be looking at those factors caused by poverty that lead to poor health. Poor sanitary conditions.
Poor sanitary conditions in Africa have led to a lot of health problems leading to poor health conditions across the continent. In 2008, approximately sixty two percent of Africans did not have access to improved sanitation facilities such as proper toilets that separate human waste from human contact (WHO, 2008). In the rural parts of Africa, sanitary problems are particularly common especially in drought times when water is unavailable for domestic uses (Ademuluyi and Odugbesan, 2008: 812). Sanitation conditions worsen if clean water supply is low or unavailable. Many African countries suffer from this lack of clean water to use and waste disposal systems.
Food shortages.
Then there is food shortage in Africa which has left a lot of communities hungry and hopeless as most of them have deteriorated health and some lose their lives. Eighteen out of twenty three countries where starvation and malnutrition are most severe in the world are in Africa (James,
Ogbama, Nomura and Aoyagi, 2013). Although governments in Africa have tried to tackle this problem, food shortage has remained low across the continent. It has been said that as many as
24 African countries across Africa are contending with food crises (Bariyo, 2015). This is leading to poor health across the whole of Africa and the problem seems to be worsening in many regions across the continent.

Unsafe and poor working conditions.
Unsafe and poor working conditions are also increasing poor health in African countries especially in the industrial, agricultural and mining sectors where countries are more interested in profit making than improving health and safety care which is a violation of human rights.
Cocoa plantations in Ghana and the Ivory Coast are a good example where workers, among them children, are forced to work under abusive, unsafe and harzadous conditions leading to poor health and low life expectancy (Make Chocolate Fair, 2015). Chinese owned copper mining companies in Zambia routinely flout labor laws and regulations designed to protect workers safety (HRW, 2011). This is also happening across Africa.
Natural disasters.
Africa is occasionally struck by disasters such as drought, floods and war that destroy, and kill people, food and medical supplies, leads to disease outbreaks and poverty that all contribute to poor health. Drought and floods severely impact food and water security in Africa (Magadza,
2000). Disease and virus outbreaks also storm Africa. Ebola is one of the viruses that take many lives in Africa and leave many suffering. All disasters, either human or natural, lead to food and water shortages as well as deteriorate health standards. A large number of Africans do not have knowledge of how to react to disasters leaving vulnerable if any disaster strike and governments do not have enough funds that are available for disaster relief.
Shortages of health facilities.
All of the factors discussed are hard to eliminate because of the shortage of health facilities and skilled medical labour. The health sector is one of the most challenged sectors in developing countries especially Africa. The shortages of skilled manpower in the health sector as well as the shortage of medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics, medical drugs and medical equipment leads to a lot deaths caused by treatable diseases (Ali, Wassie and Greblo, 2012).
The African rural communities suffer mostly from the shortages and poor medical care than urban communities where a less African population is located (Nasah, Mati and Kasonde, 1994).
The shortages of skilled manpower makes people suffer from minor effects that can be easily treated for a long time and someti,es leading to their deaths
Consequences experienced due to poor health care.
The poor health that results from the factors discussed above has consequences on the African continent which negatively affects how we live. Many people in Africa cannot work or find employment due to poor health as they will not be fit for work. Breadwinners die early in life leaving their families with no source of income (WHO, 2002). When people lose someone they depend on for their daily needs they sometimes turn to bad habits such as doing drugs, drop

out of school and commit crime among many things so that they can get by. Lastly poor health care can lead to conflicts as people will fight for resources so that they can improve their health status. Health Poverty Action, 2015)
Lastly, as we have seen that there are a lot of factors leading to poor health in Africa ranging from poverty, natural disasters, poor sanitary conditions, unsafe working conditions and shortages of health facilities among many things. This has led to disastrous consequences in
Africa. Life expectancy has lowered, infant mortality rates have worsened and disease outbreaks have taken their tow in Africa. Health issues have become one of the continent’s major concern. A lot of organisations have set programes to fight the healthcare conditions as this has become a global responsibility to help the continent.

Question 1.2
What kind of strategies need to be put in place so as to improve healthcare in African communities. Introduction.
Quality healthcare is defined as the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge (NCBI, 2006). Because poor healthcare is a big problem in Africa certain strategies and measures need to be put in place so that this problem can be eradicated.
Improving the quality of healthcare is a priority of every government (Archive, 2002). Some of the strategies which need to be put in place are health education, provision of waste disposal and better sanitary conditions, provision of healthcare facilities, affordability of special health care, fighting disease outbreaks and poverty and drought fighting among many other strategies.
Healthcare education.
Health education is very important in improving healthcare because for people to stay healthy they need knowledge of health itself and ways of keeping and improved quality health. Health education is the conscious subject of society so it creates many communicative instructions for good health (Health-pradip, 2010). Health education also follows scientific proof so it helps practical life of human body and what we can do to keep good health and improve ourselves
(Health-pradip, 2010). If people are well educated about healthcare, they can make good choices about health that can improve their communities across Africa and health problems such as lung diseases that are common in rural areas in Africa caused by lack of knowledge about indoor wood fire cooking and heating.

Provision of waste disposal and better sanitary conditions.
The provision of waste disposal and sanitation is very important in improving a community's healthcare status as incidences of inadequate waste removal and disposal, sewage blockages, malfunctioning septic tanks or any unhygienic problem that may occur has the potential to impact on the health of the general public (Cape Town, 2016). The provision of better sanitation stops the contact between human waste and the human body living them live in hygienic environments free of health threatening conditions. It is well known that inadequate or lack of services and provision of basic sanitation negatively impact safety, health and general wellbeing of communities (Cape Town, 2016).
Provision of healthcare facilities.
Then we come to the issue of the provision of quality healthcare facilities and services. Without proper and adequate healthcare facilities and services it is almost impossible to perform certain medical procedure that can restore good health and maintain a healthy community. The quality of healthcare services and facilities is one of the major concerns in this 21st century and countries have developed various models of quality assurance (Chukwudi and Campbell, 2015,
29). Africa needs to put on the same strategy on our healthcare system so as to improve the continent's healthcare. Major areas of concern in African health services and facilities are inadquance of staff, materials and equipment, poor attitude and conduct of health workers, long waiting time, technical incompetence and high cost of services and this needs to be improved (Chukwudi and Campbell, 2015, 30).
Fighting outbreaks.
Fighting disease outbreaks is also a major concern in African communities. Africa is constantly in war with disease outbreaks such as cholera, malaria and the Ebola virus. This lowers the continent's healthcare status by a large margin because outbreaks affect a large number of people in a given area. The inability to protect water sources is a major cause of disease outbreaks such as cholera in various African communities (Ssemakalu, Pillay and barros, 2012).
Fighting to protect our water and food sources can decrease outbreaks by a large margin and restore better health in African communities. Fighting outbreaks is a continetal task and all
African nations need to come together because one country's problem may become another's
(Voa News, 2015).
Poverty and drought fighting.
Drought is a disaster that also haunts Africa leading to poverty and poor health due to lack of a balanced diet for our daily lives. African governments need to put measures that fight drought.
Drought is considered one of the world’s severe and costly natural hazards, and it is the most

important severe factors affecting food security (Vilane, Manyatsi and Shabangu, 2015). African communities need to be taught how to grow food in drought times and how to survive drought conditions and keep their good health with the help of the government and other agencies.
Food aid schemes need to be put in place in areas where food cannot be grown at all. Water harvesting technics need to be taught to people (Vilane, Manyatsi and Shabangu, 2015).
Lastly as we have seen that there are many projects and programs that have been designed to help with the problem of poor healthcare in Africa. These projects are aimed in tackling factors that have led to poor health in African communities. Factors such as lack of health facilities, poverty and drought, inadequate waste disposal and poor sanitary condition as well as lack of health education in remote parts of Africa and disadvantaged parts. These programs have been implemented in some regions and have improved healthcare in Africa but by a small margin because many African countries are still suffering heavily from poor healthcare.

1) Ademiluyi, I, A and Odugbesan, J, A, 2008. Sustainability and impact of community water supply and sanitation programmes in Nigeria. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 3(12),
2) Africa- Health Poverty Actin 3) Ali, F, Wassie, B and Greblo, A, 2012. HIV/AIDS control programmes in developing countries:
The role of human resource. Journal of AIDS and HIV research, 4(5), 121-127.
4) Chukwudi, N, B and Campbell, P, C, 2015. Caregivers' perception of the quality of health care services in a General Hospital in Lagos State. Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology, 7(2),
5) Disaster in Africa. 6) Experts: Changes Needed in Fight Against Disease Outbreaks html

7) Human rights and child labour/ Make Chocolate Fair. 8) James, C, Nomura, N and Aoyagi, H, 2013. Bioenergy production and food security in Africa.
African Journal of Biotechnology, 12(52), 7147-7157.
9) Nasah, B, T, Mati, J, K, B and Kasonde, J, M, 1994. Contemporary Issues in Maternal Health
Care in Africa. Geneva: Harwood. 17-20.
10) Natural Disasters affect most of Africa. [Online] (Accessed 26 April 2016)
11) Final WHO Dying for Change Doc. [Online] Available on (Accessed 26 April 2016)
12) Sanitation and Housing - City of Cape Town 13) Ssemakulu, C, C, Pillay, M and Barros, E, 2012. The effect of solar ultraviolet radiation and ambient temperature on the culturability of toxigenic and non-toxigenic Vibro cholerae in
Pretoria South Africa. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 6(30), 5957-5964)

Question 3
How Local Economic Development (LED) initiatives be used to address social ills like poverty and unemployment.
LED offers local governments, not-for profit sectors, the private sector and local communities the opportunity to work together and improve their local economy through policies, programs , projects and cooperatives among many other things (World Bank, 2011). LED makes sure that the local investment climate is functional for local for local businesses, it encourages the formation of new businesses, supports informal and new businesses, and encourages the construction of new economic infrastructure, targets certain disadvantaged groups and grow into untapped markets and land for development among many. Led initiatives create jobs and improve living conditions and grow businesses (ETU, NA). Led promotes socio-economic development and creates opportunities for sustainable and inclusive employment and increased economic development (Masaulle, NA).
Making sure that the local investment climate is functional for local businesses.
Firstly LED initiatives address social ills such as poverty and unemployment by making sure that the local investment climate is functional for local businesses. It encourages economic policies not to scare away investors. For example, Rwanda does not have statutory limits on foreign ownership or control, nor any official economic or industrial strategy that discriminates against

foreign investors (US Embassy, NA). These types of policies attract foreign investors and make them invest in local businesses leading to their growth. LED also encourages free flow of investments making sure that investors will not be worried about getting their money tied (US
Embassy, NA).
Encouraging the formation of new businesses.
The formation of new local businesses is encouraged which creates employment and fight poverty. This is done by encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs. Local governments can make this possible by making capital more accessible, facilitating business education, and promoting entrepreneurship, protecting intellectual property and reducing regulatory burdens (US Embassy, 2006). Lowering taxes to encourage small business formation and eliminating government regulations that stymie business growth are also part of LED initiatives (US Embassy, 2006). LED also helps newly formed businesses to be competitive against giants and reduce monopoly in some other way. This helps new businesses not to be bought out of the market and penetrate into the market quickly.
Supporting informal and new businesses.
In addition to encouraging the formation of new businesses, LED also supports the informal sector and small businesses so that they can be a strong part of the local economy. Not only new entrepreneurs must be taught new skills but all including those in the informal sectors of the local economy as well as those in small businesses (US Embassy, 2006). The national government in relation to local economies assist in improved understanding of local economies regardless they are informal or small (Rogerson, 2011). LED also invest in self-employed businesses so that they can grow and provide jobs for the jobless in the community.
Construction on new economic infrastructure.
LED initiatives also advocate for the construction and improvement of economic infrastructure.
Developing infrastructure such as houses, transport, roads, water facilities and electricity and business buildings provide better living conditions and also creates an environment that promotes economic growth (ETU, NA). For example, the South African government adopted a national infrastructure plan in 2012 which is aimed to transform the country's economic landscape while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs and strengthening the delivery of basic services (South African Government, 2016).
Targeting certain disadvantaged groups.
Targeting certain disadvantaged groups is another LED initiative that is aimed at improving struggling businesses. Small businesses in Africa struggle a lot and LED tries to change that by introducing them to new economic horizons. LED tries to incorporate rural businesses into banking habits mobilise resources locked up in rural areas into the banking system and facilitate development, and identify viable industries in their respective areas for investment and development (Mensah, Domfeh, Ahenkan and Bawole, 2013). It also targets marginalised communities and allows them to participate fully in the economic system of their country (ETU,

To my conclusion, LED involves local governments, private organisations, non-profit making organizations and local communities to work together and attract local and international investments, build physical and soft economical infrastructures, support local businesses and start projects for the disadvantaged local community members struggling to find work and start their own businesses. So we can say that the purpose of LED is to create an enabling environment in which local people and institutions can make a realistic and practical decisions to strengthen the local economy, create more jobs, promote new businesses, encourage self-employment and to improve the quality of life for all local people regardless which economic sector they will be involved in (Masaulle, NA).
1) Binns, T, Dixon, A and Nel, E. 2012. Africa Diversity and development. London:
2) Government's role in encouraging small businesses/ IIP Digital. ml#axzz47YkMpvMT

Local Economic Development.
4) Investment climate/ Kigali Rwanda. 5) Mensah, K, J, Domfeh, K, A, Ahenkan, A and Bawole, J, N, 2013. Policy and Institutional perspective on local economic development in Africa: The Ghananian perspective. Journal of
African Studies and Development,5(7), 163-170.
6) National Infrastructure Plan/ South African Government. 7) Rogerson, C, M, 2011. Local Economic Development in Sub-Saharian Africa: Defining potential roles for bational government. African Journal of Business Management, 5(30),

Portfolio Part 2
Needs to change for the better

• I live in Johannesburg South Africa and the issue of overpopulation is a major environmental problem because it is causing a lot of harm on the environment surrounding us. The city of Johannesburg has an estimated population of about four million, four hundred and thirty four thousand, eight hundred and twenty seven people (4,434,827).
This information was gathered by Statistics South Africa in the last census that took place in 2011 so this number probably has increased over the past 5 years. Johannesburg is the largest and richest city in
South Africa and most of the major businesses are concentrated there making the city an ideal place for job hunting for a lot of South
Africans and as well as foreigners from all around Africa and the world. Overpopulation.
• People migrate into Johannesburg everyday for different reasons but mostly for economical reasons. Foreigners from struggling neighboring countries come and seek better opportunities in the city of Johannesburg because of the promising prospects the city has to offer. Many South Africans from the rural areas and small cities also find Johannesburg as a city of gold meaning a place to start a better life for themselves and their families. Some are daily commuters that come to the city for work and shopping during the day and leave the city during late hours. The advances in medical care in the country is also leading to the increase in population numbers as the death rate decreases but birth rates not decreasing especially in the high density areas of the city. People are e also having children at early ages such as teenage and unplanned pregnancies. These people put pressure on the environment around the city which arguably cannot withstand it leading to many problems in relation to the environment. This makes the city overpopulated and makes it an environmental problem.

Environmental problems.
• The environmental problems that are brought by this overpopulation in the city of Johannesburg are congested streets and roads, a lot of waste, pollution, degradation of the environment, conflicts such as xenophobia, unemployment which leads to crime such as gold panning which degrades the land and high cost of living due to a lot of resources being depleted.
• The city now receives a lot of waste due to a lot of human activities and this waste is more than the refuse removals can remove a day so now the environment looks terrible.
• The streets of Johannesburg are always congested especially week days during work hours until the night. The city which was once shinning is now hard to navigate. The roads during peak hours go on hold because now the roads are small for the large number of vehicles moving in and out of the city. The city is growing faster than the development of infrastructure to support it.

• The environment is now suffering a lot of pollution due to the increased need of energy caused by the growing population of Johannesburg. This energy is used for powering motor vehicles, growing industries, mines and household needs leading to a high carbon dioxide emissions.
• This overpopulation is leading to unemployment which forces some marginalized youths to be involved in illegal gold panning that degrades the land living scars of their work which no one will cover for them. The mine shafts that are left are also dangerous for humans as well as animals that move around in that area of illegal mining. • This problem is also using up space that is supposed to be left natural preserving priceless ecosystems. This space is being developed into residential and commercial areas so as to accommodate the growing population that has exceeded the amount of available resources.

Measures that have been done to fight the problem. • The government has introduced family planning to help people not have unplanned babies and try stop teenage pregnancies by offering free condoms youths and also providing contraceptives around the city.
• The migration of foreign nationals has been limited by controlling their stay in the country and the department of home affairs and the police have operations set to deport those staying in the city illegally without ant proper documentation showing that they are allowed to stay.
• Students are being taught about the advantages of having small families and also not rushing into having babies whilst they are still in school.
• The government has also developed moving out of the city hence trying to ease up congested areas in the city so as to save the environment.
• Heavy industries that have expanded to serve the growing population have been given emission standards to reduce pollution and mines have been ordered to clean their mess they leave after mining is finished.

Congested streets in Johannesburg city centre. Why previous attempts have failed to solve the problem.
• Some of the reasons why other attempts have failed to solve this problem are the rate of teenagers involved in sexual intercourse is increasing instead of decreasing leading to a lot of babies in early stages of life and this sometimes affects school work and the mothers will drop out and become house wives and have more children in their life per person.
• The increasing rate of unemployment gets people involved into more sexual activities because of boredom leading to an increase in birth rates.
• The ever improving healthcare in South Africa has led to death rates decreasing leading to an increase in population.
• The number of illegal immigrants is increasing leading to an increased population number so the failure to contain the illegal immigrant issue is also causing the increase in population numbers.

Suggested solutions.
• The first suggestion is to try and control births rates through employment. If everyone is employed they will be less time to focus on making babies hence people will be having small families.
• Border control should increase and be more advanced so to catch and deport all illegal immigrants.
• Sex education should be introduced in early stages of school so that children become aware of how it affects the environment and economy. Sex education should be part of all subjects so that people can see how it is multidimensional.

• City of Johannesburg - Statistics South Africa. [online] Available on (Accessed 20 April 2016)
• Overpopulation: Causes, Effects and Solutions - Conserve Energy ...[Online] available on (accessed 26 April 2016)
• South Africa Birth rate - Demographics - IndexMundi

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Vulnerable Population Essay

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