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

A Media Briefing for Health Journalists from Africa  

November 28-30, 2018 
Kigali, Rwanda

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. 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 briefing was attended by over 30 journalists from over 18 African countries. The panel of speakers comprised representatives from the Ministry of Health in Rwanda, international development research organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and the Rwanda Science Journalists' Association.

For details, write to Parul Tewari -  


Souparno Banerjee
Senior Director, Outreach and Publications
Centre for Science and Environment,New Delhi
Phone: 9910864339
As part of the briefing, exposure visits were also organised for the participating journalists to give them an on-field experience. The participants were grouped into 3 teams to visit 3 different sites:

Trip 1

Nyagasambu Health Centre (Malaria)

It is a community-based approach to treat malaria where volunteers from within the community come together to sensitise people about simple yet effective vector-control measures such as mosquito nets. The community health workers are also trained to test and treat malaria patients

 Trip 2

Gikuriro Project (Nutrition programme)

The community at Nyamirambo village have built a kitchen garden the produce from which is used to cook healthy food. The community also conducts cooking session to senstise on good food and runs a small savings scheme where the money generated through the kitchen is given to parents who cannot afford food items

Trip 3

HIV Ingobyi Yabizeranye Project

It is a cooperative led by people living with HIV-AIDS who together run a production unit which helps them to generate income. The project is not only supporting the members financially but is also created a support group that promotes dignified living