Africa’s widespread poverty, in addition to a shortage of medicine, adequate hospitals, trained doctors and nurses, contributes to the healthcare crisis. As a result, the life-expectancy of a person living in sub-Saharan Africa is 54.9years as of 2013—23.8 years less than that of the average American.
In addition to a shorter life-expectancy, Africa has some of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. For example, in Sierra Leone the mortality rates for children under-five and new mothers are the highest in the world, with treatable sicknesses like pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, infectious diseases and worm infestation contributing to the high mortality rates.
In addition to these preventable illnesses, maternal health is a major concern in Africa. Often women must give birth in their own homes, with no medical assistance or post-natal treatment, due to the inaccessibility of hospitals and nurses. This puts both mother and child at risk for health complications that could otherwise be prevented with the proper medical care.
Haramary University Hospital Health Center, Ethiopia