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In the news - health issues that plague South Africa

In a recent article released by a United States online journal, 24/7 Wall St, it was reported that four of the 10 world's unhealthiest nations are the African nations of South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique. Sadly, the issues that plague nations like South Africa are literally as well as figuratively a world away from those that plague those in highly developed countries like the United States and England.

There, obesity reigns supreme and one of the greatest concerns is finding weight management supplements that are safe and able to help people with decades of built-up fat to burn it off as quickly and naturally as possible. In these four African nations, being overweight, although a problem in some segments of the population, is not nearly as serious as diseases like TB and the HIV epidemic. In Swaziland alone, it is said that as much as 30% of the population has been infected by the virus.

Why disease is rampant in some African nations

Also according to this same news report, the real risk to many African nations is a lack of healthcare for the masses. While countries like South Africa will spend $156 annually on average per person for healthcare, other nations (again like Swaziland) only spend 1/5 of that amount. However, budget in countries struggling to survive economically is only a part of the issue, albeit a very large part. There just aren’t the facilities available to inform poorer peoples outside metropolitan areas of some of the greatest risks to their health. Therefore, the spread of infectious diseases is going almost unchecked.

A look at TB in Africa

In most of the developed world, TB is all but eradicated. For example, in the United States tuberculosis only strikes about three out of every 100,000 people but in countries like Swaziland, approximately 7% of all deaths are the direct result of TB. That’s seven out of every 100 deaths which is a pretty startling statistic. Sadly, there is a vaccine against tuberculosis but the healthcare system doesn’t have the wherewithal to vaccinate those in greatest need where the virus is likely to be widespread amongst the citizens.

AIDS still a major concern

As an emerging economy growing rapidly, South Africa still sees more than its fair share of the AIDS epidemic. Consider the fact that South Africa is one of the healthiest of all African nations yet the HIV virus attacks over 870 people per 100,000 each and every year – and that is just based on what has been reported. The figures are much, much worse in Swaziland. There is some concern that this percentage may be even higher than that.

In the end, the report states that many of these diseases can be slowed if the population had not only better access to healthcare but also a better delivery of much needed information on taking precautions to halt the spread of these deadly diseases. Even so, South Africa is not the only nation on the continent suffering from an epidemic and so world health leaders are seeking ways to step up and help alleviate many illnesses that have had their progression slowed in other countries. Over time, this is a goal that can be reached but it will take the effort of global healthcare organisations to see any change affected in the coming years. The report is hopeful, but didn’t end on a positive note.

 

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