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Economic Brief - Health in Africa Over the Next 50 Years


The health landscape has transformed dramatically since the independence of African countries about 50 years ago, and this is expected to continue as the continent progresses over the next half-century. Africa has made considerable headway in improving the health outcomes of its populations, in spite of the challenges posed by pervasive poverty, epidemic diseases, and food insecurity. The traditional communicable diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis remain the main drivers of mortality. Concomitantly, chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer – associated with a growing middle-class lifestyle – are also emerging as major killers on the continent. This is creating a double disease burden which African health systems are ill equipped to handle.

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