Africa seeks to grow medical tourism sector with new hospitals

Nagged by a pointy again ache three years in the past, Abidemi Ogbonna from Lagos, Nigeria, determined to go to a close-by hospital referred to as Apollo. Pondering it was only a minor drawback, she was shocked when her doctor knowledgeable her that she urgently wanted a kidney transplant.

The process couldn’t be carried out regionally, her physician advised her. Flying to India was her greatest likelihood of a profitable operation. Ogbonna’s middle-class household might afford the bills, and so speedy preparations had been made for her visa.

The Apollo Hospital in Nigeria scheduled a surgical procedure date with its counterpart in India, helped safe Ogbonna’s visa, and booked her flight and lodging in India. All she wanted to do was pay the invoice. As soon as she did, she took the subsequent flight and made the lengthy journey to avoid wasting her life. She was accompanied by her mom.

Ogbonna’s story is typical of lots of of Africans who journey exterior of their residence international locations for medical consideration.

India is more and more changing into widespread with Africans in search of medical therapy abroad, due to its extra reasonably priced, state-of-the-art gear and its extremely expert medical doctors. Ogbonna’s different choices had been the US and the UK; nonetheless, well being care there may be extraordinarily costly and getting visas to these international locations is a nightmare, not like with India, the place visas are issued inside every week and therapy is relatively low cost.

The World Well being Workforce Alliance, which advocates for options for international locations that lack ample well being care techniques, mentioned in its 2015 report that sub-Saharan Africa was going through a extreme scarcity of well being care professionals and lacked ample well being care protection for these in want of medical therapy.

That is jarring information to a continent that carries a big illness burden, together with the world’s highest charges of communicable ailments comparable to malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, amongst others. In accordance with medical journal BMJ, “Africa experiences 24 % of the worldwide burden of illness, but it has solely 2percent of the worldwide provide of medical doctors and fewer than 1 % of expenditures on international well being.”