African Countries have in the recent past, adopted several strategies with the aim of improving the health status of people in the African region. However, Africans in general, and women children inparticular, still face a huge burden of preventable and treatable health problems. As the demographic and health transitions have matured, the burden from communicable to non-communicable diseases has demonstrated that the disease burden of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS annually reduces GDP growth by as much as 1.3 percent. While these diseases pose the greatest challenge, the continent faces a severe burden of communicable diseases including pneumonia, diarrhea and measles in children, as well as other diseases that severally debilitate communities affected by them.
There are also ongoing outbreak of cholera, meningitis, ebola and Marbug in many parts of continent. Increase in both death and disability from non-communicable diseases remain a challenge and need to be prioritized. Chronic diseases associated with socio-demographic changes, such as obesity and heart disease, are becoming more prevalent. Public health challenge due to substances abuse; injuries from violence; war; traffic accidents and other preventable causes; the impact of mental health; and the high prevalence of specific canvers are also becoming widely recognized.
The multi-dimensional nature of health, and its impacts on the population, means that good health plays a pivotal role in poverty reduction and development. Therefore, reducing the burden of disease will directly release the potential of African people and countries to increase production and productivity, and thus achieve higher growth rates as well as improved human and social development.