Part 2: Issues in Sustainable Development



Major health care challenges in Africa are infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, sanitation, and malnutrition. Children are particularly at risk. A root cause of many of the health problems is the lack of access to medical care.

Main Idea

Disease and lack of access to medical care as challenges to human well-being

Key Concepts

Health care delivery systems

    • Primary, others
    • Allopathic, traditional/herbal, etc.
Major health challenges in Africa

      • infectious diseases
      • sanitation
      • malnutrition

Problems with health care access


Knowledge of

      • the distribution and consumption of health resources
      • measuring major health challenges in Africa
      • problems with health care access

Ability to

      • demonstrate knowledge of interventions for improving maternal and child health
      • demonstrate understanding and usage of harm-reduction health strategies, e.g. insecticide-treated mosquito nets, condoms, etc.

Core Readings

  1. Millennium Development Goals in Africa, pages 12-19
    Decreasing child and maternal mortality, and reducing spread of AIDS
    (8 pages)
  2. Health and the Millennium Development Goals, pages 36-40
    Human resources, drug delivery, and information systems needed to improve access to health care in developing countries (5 pages) 
  3. Health and Environment Linkages Initiative
    Includes critical policies and decision-support methodologies that can affect these issues; future products that will enhance government capacities are described
    (2 pages) 
  4. Traditional Medical Practices and Medicinal Plants in Tanzania
    A review of the value and use of traditional medicinal practices including examples of plants used (1 page) 

Sustainability Strategies

  1. Health Solutions
    List of key interventions for improving child health (4 pages)
  2. Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets, pages 2-8
    Costs, procedures and supplies for an effective approach to combat malaria
    (7 pages)

Supplemental Readings

  1. The Health of the People
    Analysis of major health challenges in Africa: infant and maternal mortality, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, health care system (194 pages)
  2. Health and the Millennium Development Goals, pages 15-25
    Overview of progress worldwide on malnutrition, measles immunization, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB (11 pages) 
  3. HIV, AIDS and Education
    Overview and statistics on AIDS in Africa, cultural factors influencing transmission, disproportionate impact of pandemic on women, how education can help slow spread, how educational system has been damaged by AIDS, and role of higher education in confronting disease (46 pages)
  4. Global shortage of Healthcare Workers
    Statistics on uneven distribution of health care workers worldwide and discussion of causes and implications (4 pages)
  5. Water, Sanitation, and Health
    Statistics on incidence of water-related diseases (2 pages)
  6. Health Statistics by Country
    Table of indicator data for all countries (2 pages)
  7. Unqualified Managers Fail Africa's Health
    The effect “accidental” managers have on health care quality and delivery
    (1 page)
  8. Africa and the Millennium Development Goals 2007 Update
    Review and assessment of the progress, challenges, and opportunities in Africa for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (4 pages)
  9. Traditional Medical Practices and Medicinal Plants in Kenya and East Africa
    A review of the value and use of traditional medicinal practices including examples of plants used (1 page)

Assignment Questions

  1. Health: Characterize the prevalence of HIV in Africa.
  2. Health: In what areas do public health systems need improvement in order to better serve the most needy?