For the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be successfully implemented in Africa, countries in the continent need to address the underlying causes rather than the symptoms of key health challenges. This was the key takeout from the plenary on the status of the implementation of health-related SDGs yesterday.

In past decades, Africa has focused mainly on treatment rather than prevention. However, for sustainable health outcomes, the continent needs to shift its focus to prevention, particularly by addressing the root causes of health challenges.

Africa should focus on causes and not symptoms of health challenges to implement health-related SDGs

Africa should focus on causes and not symptoms of health challenges to implement health-related SDGs

Prevention not only focuses on health interventions, such as, training of medical personnel and health workers, but also socio-economic interventions. This
includes economically empowering communities so that they can afford health care. It also includes tapping into natural resources.

“The focus is now on the great need to unlock resources. An example is Turkana (Kenya), which has great untapped water resources. The emphasis in such areas should be on how to tap this resource instead of depending on knee-jerk mitigations which are not sustainable,” said Dr Marc-Alain Widdowson, Director of the Division of Global Health Protection during the panel discussion.

The key note address at the SDG plenary was delivered by Mr Arif Neky, Advisor for UN Strategic Partnerships and Coordinator of the SDG Philanthropy Platform. Other panelists present included: H E Toyin Saraki, Founder- President of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave comment

There are 1 comments

  1. Martha Okemwa says: March 13, 2017 at 21:18

    True.We should focus on the causes of SDGs.Take SDG number 5 which talks about gender equity,there are many factors that contribute to this but we are focusing in solving cases that have already occurred when we could have prevented them before they happened. Take FGM,we do not educate the public and societies that practice it it’s dangers but instead we wait for a case of fatality to occur before we educate on the dangers and we do not really puy emphasis on it’s dangers.The role of girls in the kitchen, how can girls be encouraged that they are equal to their male counter parts when our own mothers tell us that as girls we should know how to cook in the kitchen while our brothers are given the choice of choosing whether they want to know how to do house chores or not.We should really put our focus on the causes