The phenomenon of African leaders leaving their country to seek medical help from other countries appears to be on the rise.
A reflection of the failure to invest in better health care facilities in their own countries.
As for citizens of their countries, they can’t access medical facilities in their own country and have no other means of leaving to get help from outside.
Africa has lost a number of Heads of State; some have died in foreign countries. Corruption and failure in investing in health care systems are reasons attributed to other challenges.
Only a few of the 54 African States have medical facilities which their leaders can use.
Some political commentators say health financing in Africa is often characterised by negligible investment, weak financial management and poor use of resources.
Some of the reasons are political crisis in other countries.
To name but a few leaders who are seeking or got medical help from outside their countries, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe often goes to Singapore or Malaysia for medical help.
Edgar Lungu, Michael Sata, Banda Ruphia, former and current President of Zambia all have come to South Africa for medical attention.
Bakuli Muluzi of Malawi and opposition leaders from the DRC Moise Katumbi and the late Etienne Tshikeli have also sought medical help in South Africa.
Others have passed on in European countries much to the dismay of citizens.
They get elected into power and make promises to improve health care, but don’t make use of it themselves.
Most of Africa’s hospitals are reportedly only fit for those who don’t have other options. This has triggered a fierce debate.
– By Lehana Tsotetsi