May 29, 2006

Plea for free Africa healthcare

A British-based charity has called for international donors to give specific long-term support to African nations in providing free healthcare.

The charity, Save the Children, says in a new report that almost 800 children die in Africa daily because they cannot afford to pay for medical treatment.

It says greater access to health services could make a huge difference.

It also points out that only limited progress has been made in abolishing health charges in Africa.

'Ineffective schemes'

Save the Children says the tide of international opinion on health fees is turning.

That makes this the right time to help more African governments implement universally-free healthcare and medicine.

The ability to afford basic medicines, vaccines and care is more acute in Africa than other parts of the developing world, the charity says.

Africa sees a higher proportion of child deaths from preventable disease than any other region.


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