As a continent, Africa continues to lag behind in achieving the sustainable development goal number three of good health and well-being by 2030.
One major policy that should be enacted in Africa, if the health sector is to get any better, is for African leaders and the ruling political class to be subjected to receiving medical treatment in their home countries rather than travelling abroad.
One country that has been in the news in the past few days as a result of the increasing crisis in its health sector is Zimbabwe.
Last week, there were reports that doctors in the country were forced to carry out their duties without the availability of medicals supplies in government hospitals. This has forced them to go as far as using condoms when performing examinations as a result of the shortage of gloves.
Also, there is an ongoing strike by members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) - who embarked on the exercise to demand payment of their salaries in US dollars.
The strike action was embarked upon by the junior doctors and a few of their senior colleagues who want the government to promptly address what they describe as a shortage of critical medicines as well as surgical and medical essentials.
The government of Zimbabwe has completely ruled out the payment of doctor’s wages in US dollars but negotiations to get them back to work continue to hit a dead end.
During a demonstration at the Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare last Friday, the treasurer of ZHDA, Prince Butawo while speaking to journalists said doctors were forced to use condoms during examinations due to the shortage of gloves among other things.
"We are forced to compromise and (beyond) our limits, and doctors ask as to when this bush medicine we are practicing will end.
"We have what we call the DRE procedure in which we are expected to wear gloves, but the gloves are not available.
"So, instead of using bare fingers we have now resorted to the use of condoms for us to perform that procedure.
"There are a lot of things; for instance, gynaecology in women, we now have to use condoms instead of gloves.
"Even when somebody comes with a bladder problem, we are forced to send the patient away to look for a urine bag from pharmacies in town because the hospital pharmacy does not have them in stock."
Supporting the claims of the treasurer, secretary general of the ZHDA, Mthabisi Bhebhe told reporters that the hospitals were not providing doctors with jelly which is required for lubrication, again forcing them to resort to condoms which come with lubricants, and were provided free by donors.
"We are forced to improvise using condoms because our hospitals do not have the KY Jelly used for lubrication.
"Even for strapping we are using insulating tape for electricity and also our hospitals do not have Plaster of Paris which is used for plasters."
Header Image Credit: IRIN News