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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 35-36

Loss of productivity interfering with the attainment of universal health coverage in African nations


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Medical Research Unit, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet Taluk, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ed.ed_13_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Loss of productivity interfering with the attainment of universal health coverage in African nations. Environ Dis 2019;4:35-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Loss of productivity interfering with the attainment of universal health coverage in African nations. Environ Dis [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Jul 1];4:35-6. Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/text.asp?2019/4/2/35/260513



Dear Editor,

The Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) were adopted in the year 2015 with an ultimate vision to ensure sustainable development of all determinants of health and universal health coverage(UHC) has been acknowledged as an important variable for the accomplishment of the goals.[1] In fact, the calculated estimates indicate that each nation has to spend almost US$ 271 per capita to achieve UHC. However, it has been reported that in the African region, the current financial expenditure is alarmingly less than what has been recommended for the attainment of the UHC.[1]

Even though it is quite obvious that the presence of good health plays a major role in the betterment of the development indices; nevertheless, the impact of ill-health on development indices has not yet been explored till date.[2] Further, it was reported that in 2015 alone, close to 625 million years of healthy life were lost in 2015 owing to a wide range of diseases prevalent in the nations in the African region.[1] It is important to acknowledge that lifestyle diseases have become the most common group of diseases affecting productivity in the region, while other offenders being infectious diseases(viz., AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), maternal and child health diseases, and malnutrition.[3],[4],[5]

The findings of a recently released report revealed that in the absence of accomplishment of UHC, the region will have to suffer a loss of almost 2.4 trillion international dollars each year.[1] Further, at the same time, it has been estimated that the containment of the health conditions and prevention of the mortality alone will minimize around half of the lost productivity in the region.[1],[2] However, to ensure that health-related SDGs are attained, the nations have to work in the direction of establishing resilient national and local health systems, which will then play an indispensable role in delivering an integrated package of health-care services.[2],[3],[4]

Moreover, the mission of strengthening of health systems should target both rich and poor nations and all age groups.[2] In addition, there is a great need for sustained political will and increase in financial allocation on health from the government side.[2],[5] To some extent, the financial support from the private agencies has bridged the gap to some extent; nevertheless, a lot still needs to be done.[1],[2]

In conclusion, the attainment of UHC and SDGs is bound to minimize poverty, reduce inequity, and provide support for all the sections of the community to grow together. However, for this to happen and to reduce the loss of productivity, the need of the hour is to invest more money and ensure support from all the stakeholders, including international welfare agencies, policy makers, program managers, health professionals, nongovernmental agencies, and the community.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. AHeavy Burden: The Productivity Cost of Illness in Africa. Geneva: WHO Press; 2019. p.1-22.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
PearceA, SharpL, HanlyP, BarchukA, BrayF, de Camargo CancelaM, etal. Productivity losses due to premature mortality from cancer in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa(BRICS): Apopulation-based comparison. Cancer Epidemiol 2018;53:27-34.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
ShrivastavaSR, ShrivastavaPS, RamasamyJ. Expanding the delivery of preventive medicine for malaria during pregnancy in Africa. Community Acquir Infect 2017;4:43-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
ShrivastavaSR, ShrivastavaPS, RamasamyJ. Building an effective mechanism to respond to the repeated outbreaks of cholera in the African region. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1109-10.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
WillisDW, HamonN. Eliminating malaria by 2040 among agricultural households in Africa: Potential impact on health, labor productivity, education and gender equality. Gates Open Res 2018;2:33.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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