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From Health Affairs:


In Sub-Saharan Africa, Health And Health Care Rated Among The World's Lowest



Bethesda, MDA large share of Western aid to developing countries goes to sub-Saharan Africa, a region where spending on health care is around $100 per person in 2005 price-adjusted terms. This region, which experienced large gains in life expectancy in the years following World War II, suffered health-related setbacks in the closing years of the twentieth century as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A new study, being released by Health Affairs as a Web First, used data from the Gallup Organization's 2012 World Poll to investigate health and health care perceptions in the region in 2012 compared to other regions of the world. The poll found that sub-Saharan Africans' overall evaluation of their well-being was lower than that of any other population in the world. Additionally, only 42.4 percent of residents in that region were satisfied with the availability of high-quality health care in their community, also the lowest level in the world. Finally, when sub-Saharan Africans were asked to name the issues that should be the highest priorities for their government, health care was not seen as the most pressing issue.

People In Sub-Saharan Africa Rate Their Health And Health Care Among The Lowest In The World


By Angus S. Deaton and Robert Tortora


Deaton is affiliated with Princeton University in New Jersey; Tortora, now at ICF International in Rockville, Maryland, was at the Gallup Organization in Washington, DC, when the article was written.


This study, which is supported by the Gallup Organization and the National Institute on Aging, will also appear in the March 2015 issue of Health Affairs

The Gallup Organization's World Poll has been collecting data in sub-Saharan Africa since 2005. One of the controversial issues in the literature and the donor community is the effect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on health care, both before and after 2004. After that year, there was a large increase in aid, from PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief)  and the Global Fund. When asked in 2012 whether their health care has improved over the previous five years, the poll found that public perceptions were positively related to the prevalence of HIV only in the countries with the highest prevalence. Conclude the authors: "In these heavily affected countries, there may well have been positive spillovers into the more general health care system from the increased investment in health." 

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Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published periodically at The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the new iPad app.