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This week, the world took a conscious look at Liberia. Online news was constantly buzzing about the mysterious illness that has caused a number of death is Sinoe County, Liberia. Is it another outbreak of hemorrhagic fever? This was the question on the lips of most.
International media reported that Ebola, Yellow Fever and Lassa Fever have been ruled out and investigations are ongoing. But all preventive measures including the use of personal equipment are strictly adhered to by the health team. Efforts are seamlessly geared towards containment of this disease and prevention of further spread.
Over the years, Africa has progressively improved in innovation and workforce in the march towards strengthening health security. Several initiatives have been launched to meet the challenges posed by the major health workforce crisis in Africa.The Africa-CDC is a great move in the attainment of the global health security goals and other progressive approaches initiated to effect these goals. Imperatively, early detection and quick response to disease outbreak is fundamental.
Africa possesses 14% of the world population, harbors 25% of global disease burden and has only 1.3% of global health workers. The health workers/population ratio in Africa is currently 0.8 health workers per 10,000 inhabitants. Obviously, very little progress can be achieved if the situation remains unchanged and Africa needs immediately at least 1 million more health workers to enable noticeable improvement.
It’s a collaborative effort, to reach the target expectation with emphasis on the provision of basic infrastructure to improve delivery. The major areas are outlined in the global health security agenda as ways to bolster disease surveillance- the development of National laboratory systems, real-time surveillance, reporting and workforce.
The driver of other factors is the development of a strong and effective workforce which begins with competent leadership. This question remains: how is Africa racing to meet the required standard?