November 8

Analysis: Can Insurance and Telemedicine Revolutionize Healthcare in Africa?

By Mandeep Dhaliwal, Jan Kellett

COVID-19 has exposed deficiencies and gaps in healthcare worldwide, in countries rich and poor, large and small, inadequacies which contributed to more than 16.5 million deaths and many more debilitating illnesses. And the resulting social and economic consequences have been breathtakingly severe.

In September 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that one person died of COVID-19 every 44 seconds.

In some places more than others, the deficiency in universal health coverage is stark. This is particularly the case in sub-Saharan Africa, which has more than 400 million people without universal health coverage, nearly half of the total world-wide. The lack of access has many primary and secondary implications, going beyond sickness and indeed death, through to major impacts on livelihoods, productivity, growth and more. For individuals, and families, those without health coverage, are easily pushed into poverty because of out-of-pocket health expenses. In many cases they simply do not seek medical treatment to avoid expenses, with grave risks to their health. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, half a billion people were being pushed or pushed further into extreme poverty because of payments they made for healthcare. WHO and the World Bank expect that that number is now considerably higher.

Source: UNDP (link opens in a new window)

Health Care, Technology
healthcare technology