Africa confronts the world’s most dramatic health crisis. Accounting for 24% of the global disease burden, the challenges the continent faces are many and complex, with growing inequities in access to health services and health outcomes across the region. Whilst significant progress has been made in the treatment and prevention of many infectious diseases, Africa still accounts for 90% of malaria deaths, 70% of all people living with HIV and 26% of all tuberculosis cases. In recent years, the devastating impact of emerging viruses, such as Ebola, have further exposed the fundamental fragility of many health systems.
Given the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as well, resilient health systems are needed now more than ever. The WHO estimates that NCDs are likely to surpass the toll of sickness and death from infectious disease by 2030, with cancer, type-2 diabetes and heart disease the biggest killers. In the case of the latter, hypertension in the African region is the highest in the world, affecting an estimated 46% of adults.
It’s clear that the continent stands on a precipice – the action we take today will determine whether African countries will join the rest of the world in achieving substantial and lasting improvements in public health, or be perpetually left behind.
Whilst there are a great many challenges, there are also a great many opportunities and science and technology must be at the heart of addressing and capitalising on both. With world-leading speakers from across business, academia and policy, the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) will be shining a light on those individuals, research groups, academic institutions and commercial organisations making scientific and technological advancements that are of benefit not just to Africa but to the world.
Join us for a day of high-level presentations, panel discussions and Q&A sessions as we explore defining issues impacting public health today and highlight the innovations that will come to define the future of public health in Africa!