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Thursday, March 06, 2003

A BBC report on the role of health in African development has a number of staggering statistics. These include:

* Malaria costs Africa up to $100bn (£62.4bn) a year in lost productivity, five times more than annual development aid received. The disease also kills 1 million Africans a year + consumes 40% of the continent's health expenditure.

* Pharmaceutical firms have developed 1,700 medicines approved for clinical use in the last 15 years. Yet only 11 were targeted at tropical diseases.

* About 28 million Africans are now living with HIV/Aids and has become the biggest cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa.

The report also notes that changes in investment policy can create new problems, as has been the case in education where...

* Free schooling (in Tanzania) means there are up to 180 pupils in each class due to a shortage of teachers and buildings!