President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwunmi Adesina

Africa loses $1bn yearly to medical tourism – Adesina

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Failing to develop Africa’s healthcare system but embarking on medical tourism to advanced countries, Africa’s leaders are costing the continent $1billion yearly.

This assertion was made by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, at the virtual Annual General Meeting of the AfDB, which entered its third and final day today, Friday, June 25. Prime Business monitored the event.

Emphasising the need for African countries to revamp their healthcare infrastructure for easy access to quality healthcare, Adesina said this can be achieved by first giving priority to three critical areas, namely, local production of vaccines on the continent, developing Africa’s pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, and building quality health care infrastructure.

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Other critical areas of focus include scaling up existing manufacturing capacities, invest in tech transfer, expand financing for R&D, establish an Africa Medicine Agency for safety standards and quality control, and attract global companies to locate production facilities in Africa.

According to Adesina, Africa must reduce last-mile access to primary healthcare, modernize secondary tertiary healthcare infrastructure, expand diagnostic infrastructure, and build digitally-enabled health service delivery networks.

Interestingly, Adesina’s observation is coming on the same day President Muhammadu Buhari was initially scheduled for yet another medical checkup in London. However, the President’s office released a statement announcing the postponement of the trip.

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