The state of public health in Africa IN THE PINK or IN THE RED? 

September 26, 2018

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India and Down To Earth magazine, India with Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA), Kenya 

A Media Briefing for Health Journalists from Africa  

November 28-30, 2018 
Kigali, Rwanda

Where does Africa stand in terms of its public healthcare systems and their delivery? Health is the third most important item under Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. Universal health coverage under the SDGs focuses on providing access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines with financial risk protection. 

Set against this context, the picture that emerges from Africa appears rather bleak. Over 90 per cent of the world’s malaria cases, and 60 per cent of global HIV/AIDS cases are here. Out of 20 countries with the highest maternal mortality ratios worldwide, 19 are in Africa. All this points to very low or almost non-existent access to public healthcare. 

Access to public healthcare remains a major challenge for India as well. Even as the government has moved proactively with multiple schemes to provide medical insurance cover to the poor, people’s – especially those in rural areas – access to healthcare systems is poor. Almost 74 per cent of the nation’s doctors are clustered in its cities, catering to a mere 28-30 per cent of the total population. Facing challenges that are very similar, India and Africa may have experiences and learnings to share. 

The New Delhi (India)-based think tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down To Earth, the science-environment-development fortnightly – in association with Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) of Kenya -- invite African journalists to a Media Briefing on the subject. Journalists (including freelancers) working in Africa and writing on environment and health are eligible to apply. 

A special Africa issue of Down To Earth will be released on this occasion. 

To apply, please send an email to the undersigned with the following details:

  • Name:
  • Location (city and country):
  • Designation:
  • Organisation (where you are working):
  • Mobile number:
  • Email:
  • Why do you think we should select you for this Briefing (answer in not more than 80-100 words): 

CSE will support the travel and accommodation of the selected journalists. Please note: Only the shortlisted journalists will be informed of the selection. 


CSE, in partnership with MESHA and other journalists’ networks from Africa, has organised a number of media briefings and interactions across the continent on subjects ranging from air pollution and climate change to agriculture and sanitation. The Centre has over 30 years of experience in researching on and covering these and other issues of environment in South Asia. Its work in Africa, initiated about five years ago, has spanned waste management, urban mobility management and air pollution control, wastewater treatment, and advising governments on environmental governance and regulatory controls.  


Parul Tewari,
The CSE Media Resource Centre,
New Delhi, India,