Improving People’s Lives Agenda:
In support of one of the five main development agendas of the African Development Bank, CoDA supports dialogue among relevant stakeholders to deliver vital policy recommendations aimed at ‘Improving the quality of life for the people of Africa’. Working with several partners, including the African Development Bank, African Union Commission, UNECA, AO-Alliance and the World Health Organization, CoDA supports knowledge delivery and policy changes through research and conversation to improve Africa’s health systems and reduce Africa’s youth unemployment through development and empowerment.
Following a policy dialogue on the “challenges of trauma and care of the injured in Africa”, CoDA currently supports consultations on trauma and care of the injured in Africa to ensure that every injured person has access to a broad spectrum of care, including pre-hospital care, acute facility-based care, and long-term rehabilitation.
Addressing the challenges of trauma and care of the injured in Africa:
Injuries represent a huge burden to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO)
indicate that 9 percent of the global mortality is due to fatal injuries and occurs mostly in low- and middle-income countries. Thirty percent of these deaths are linked to road accidents, making them among the top 10 causes of death in LMICs. Trauma remains a neglected cause of death and disability in these countries, leaving close to 5 million people dead each year; more than all deaths due to HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Yet, this continues to receive the least attention in terms of awareness and resource allocation. As infectious diseases such as polio, malaria and HIV/AIDS are increasingly brought under control, trauma accounts for a growing proportion of the world’s burden of death and disability. Much of this disability is from musculoskeletal injury. In LMICs, musculoskeletal injury is the major cause of injury-related disability, as opposed to high income countries where neurological injuries account for a larger burden.
Road traffic injuries are also on the rise, particularly in LMICs – where rates of trauma and disability are disproportionately higher. Injuries in LMICs contribute to the vicious cycle of poverty: keeping poor people out of work and incurring high costs for treatment, not to mention the disruption of the family balance.
To meet these growing problems, much needs to be done on road safety, injury prevention, facility-based care and rehabilitation. Understanding and addressing the global need for orthopaedic trauma care warrants that this neglected epidemic in developing countries be acknowledged as a global health concern and tackled as such.
A significant reduction of the global burden of injury could be achieved by strengthened trauma care services, but there is unfortunately a misperception that this would be expensive. However, there are numerous examples from many LMICs demonstrating improved survival and functional outcome with affordable and sustainable improvements in the care of the injured. Furthermore, Africa shares a significant proportion of the burden of death and disability from these fatal injuries, hence the need for more concerted action towards a holistic approach to address the predicament.
CoDA is working to define this holistic approach, following discussions in a policy dialogue on the “Challenges of Trauma and Care of the Injured in Africa”. The dialogue was held in collaboration with the African Union Commission and AO Alliance and sought to build on existing individual country successes to promote the idea that every injured person should be assured a certain spectrum of care, including pre-hospital care, acute facility-based care, and long-term rehabilitation.
Building on the momentum from this High-Level Policy Dialogue on Challenges of Trauma and Care of injured in Africa held in September 2018, CoDA continues to collaborate with AUC, WHO and AO Alliance Foundation on the issue of trauma and care of the injured. The objectives of the collaboration are to:
Women & Youth Empowerment and Employment
CoDA and its founding partners have always believed that the promotion of dialogue on Africa’s development is invalid without the inclusion of issues which contend with the empowerment and advancement of African youth through education and employment. Africa has the youngest population in the world, which is speedily increasing. It is estimated by the UN that by 2055, the continent’s youth population (aged 15-24), will be more than double the 2015 total of 226 million. Yet the continent remains stubbornly inhospitable politically, economically, and socially to young people.
CoDA believes that compelling action by African governments to address this issue will be one of the most important factors in determining the continent’s development and prosperity. Indeed the African Union’s Agenda 2063 indicates that the ‘youth of Africa shall be socially, economically and politically empowered through the full implementation of the African Youth Charter’. Likewise, “youth unemployment will be eliminated, and Africa’s youth guaranteed full access to education, training, skills and technology, health services, jobs and economic opportunities, recreational and cultural activities as well as financial means and all necessary resources to allow them to realize their full potential.”
To support achievement of these objectives, CoDA is working solely as well as in collaboration with the African Union, the African Union Special Envoy on Youth and selected partners including continental youth organizations to organize relevant conventions and policy dialogues which focus on youth empowerment. The focus of each dialogue will be on employment, education, changing the youth perspectives to a more positive outlook despite their continental challenges, and strengthening pan-Africanism in the youth.