Magazine article African Business

Vital for Growth

Magazine article African Business

Vital for Growth

Article excerpt

Shortcomings in public health delivery in Ghana over the years have paved the way for a burgeoning private healthcare sector, ranging from small clinics to modern, state-of-the-art medical facilities. The corresponding pharmaceutical industry, although largely import-based, is also thriving.

Even though a healthy population is a key, long-term driver for economic growth, in Ghana healthcare as an industry is under-researched and under-exploited.

However, lack of analysis of the sector does not mean lack of opportunity. For decades, laboratories and other private health facilities have not only been plugging the gap, but leading the way in some areas of Ghana's healthcare delivery, and will continue to do so.

Ghana made strides in reducing under-5s mortality, maternal mortality and deaths due to HIV/Aids (and related tuberculosis), as well as malaria deaths, between 1990 and 2013 due to the impact of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to World Health Organisation (WHO) data.

Vaccination rates are also generally high, according to figures from the World Bank, with 89% of children aged between 12 and 23 months receiving immunisation for measles in 2016 compared to 61% in 1990. The under-5s mortality rate more than halved between 1990 and 2016 and life expectancy increased from 57 years to 63 years during the same period.

However, Ghana still has progress to make in some areas, especially in maternal mortality and under-5s malaria deaths.

Evolving Needs

Ghana's health needs are ever-evolving. …

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