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Africa caught unawares and unprepared twice in half a century; The case for well-funded Universal Health Coverage – Dr Emmanuel B.K. Luyirika


Major disease epidemics have caused suffering and death and lingered on the African continent for decades. In the 1970s and 80s Africa struggled with inadequate immunisation coverage for the common infectious diseases such as, TB, Polio, Measles and Diptheria, among others, while Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases such as Leprosy, Bilharzia, Sleeping Sickness, River Blindness and others raged on the continent. As efforts to control those diseases were gaining momentum, Africa was hit by HIV and AIDS to the point of carrying 80% of the global disease burden. This also led to re-emergence of Tuberculosis as well as other opportunistic infections and cancers. This was on the backdrop of poorly funded health systems, raging wars in various regions of Africa and under performance of economies based on unprocessed commodities which lost prices on the global market.

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