By Jolize Gerber, Healthcare Analyst, Frost & Sullivan
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was formed with the vision of establishing a regional community that will ensure economic well-being and improve the standards of living and quality of life for the people of Southern Africa. However, what does the quality of life really look like for the majority of the SADC population?
The majority of countries within the SADC region continue to face great challenges with regards to poverty, and the region remains heavily dependent on donor aid. Despite economic improvement in the past two decades, a great percentage of the region's population still lives below the poverty line. In Malawi, 50.0 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. In other countries such as Zambia, this percentage is even higher, averaging 86.0 percent.
But it is not all doom and gloom for countries in the SADC region. There are also outliers. In Mauritius, only 8.0 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. However, bear in mind that Mauritius is ranked as the best-governed country in Africa and is considered to be one of the developing world's most successful democracies, with a well-developed legal and commercial infrastructure.
For most of the other countries in the SADC region, poverty and poor living conditions for the majority of the population remain the order of the day. These conditions have also caused healthcare in the region to remain largely underdeveloped.
The picture of healthcare: Too many thorns