Poverty: The Foundation of Epidemic Diseases in Africa

Updated: Feb 24

When people use the phrase “Poverty is a Disease”, they obviously do not mean it in the literal sense, but they paint a picture of how undesirable this situation could be. The major aim of this article, however, is to briefly enlighten the reader on how much danger poverty poses to the African community and how its prevalence has been the major contributory factor to several epidemic diseases which have claimed thousands of lives in the region.


According to a report published by Focuseconomics in 2019, Africa serves as home to some of the poorest countries in the world and are mainly plagued by poverty-related diseases that claim over over 11 million African lives annually. HIV/AIDs, Malaria, Cholera, Diarrhea and Tuberculosis are just a few examples on the long list of poverty-related epidemic diseases that poses great threat to the African population.


The prevalence of such diseases is attributed to the level of poverty in these regions which results in lack of: safe drinking water, nutritious food, sanitation, good shelter, access to good healthcare services, and widespread information on how to protect oneself from such diseases (especially in the case of HIV/AIDS).


The level of poverty in Africa also reduces the chances of combating its spread. Why? Because while developed countries have billions of dollars to spare in the fight against these diseases and also in sensitizing their citizens on measures to take in order to prevent its widespread, many of the poor African countries only rely on limited foreign donors funds.


Therefore, the fight against the spread of epidemic diseases in Africa can only be won if the major cause of these diseases (poverty) is tackled. Poverty continues to pose a significant threat that trickles down to many aspects of the healthcare.

Photo Credit: Brookings, Open Development Market, and UN


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Article Credit: Ima-Abasi Joseph Pius


Tags: #Poverty #Diseases #Health #Africa

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