A group of leading health experts have highlighted a number of key issues in reducing maternal, neonatal and infant mortality as a means to achieving SDGs in Africa. Particularly notable was the need for improving the quality of health care provision.
The speakers were participating in a recent webinar, organised by the Aid and International Development Forum, ahead of a major event on Aid and International Development in Africa.
3.5 million people in Kenya were identified by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in June 2017 as urgently requiring safe drinking water. Universal access to clean and safe drinking water and basic sanitation systems are key to achieving socio-economic transformation in countries, such as Kenya.
Access to clean water and sanitation can significantly reduce maternal and infant deaths. Safe drinking water and well-developed sewage services reduce the growing spread of communicable diseases, as well as increasing school enrolments and the productivity of working adults.
Approximately 36.7 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2016). Of these, 2.1 million are children. In 2016, an estimated 1.8 million individuals became newly infected with HIV, which equates to 5,000 new infections per day.
Although there was a decline in the HIV death rate between 2000 and 2015, African regions still account for almost two-thirds of the global total of new HIV infections. Africa is home to 25.6 million people with HIV (WHO, 2016).
Climate-smart agriculture has a profound impact on Kenya. The country is incredibly vulnerable to crises from extreme weather due to the reliance on climate-sensitive natural resources. The agriculture sector is a major contributor to the national GDP, which also leaves Kenya’s economy weak during periods of flooding or drought.
Access to healthcare in Africa differs greatly from region to region. The distance one lives to an urban centre determines the access they have to medical services, and is frequently a barrier. Africa holds a quarter of the world’s disease burden yet it is home to only 2% of its doctors. This gap is slowly being filled by innovations and mixed reality technologies that support health SDGs.