At SSI, we believe that sustainably fortifying healthcare delivery systems in underserved and disadvantaged communities is key to long term improvement in health outcomes, quality of life and overall life expectancy. For many people in Africa, access to healthcare is truly a gift of hope that works to break the cycle of poverty.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and hypertension is the leading associated risk factor[i]. Stroke affects 33 million individuals worldwide every year and two-thirds of all strokes occur in developing countries [ii], [iii]. Additionally, people with diabetes in developing countries will comprise greater than 70 % of the global diabetes burden by the year 2035[iv]. In Africa, chronic viral hepatitis affects over 70 million Africans (60 million with Hepatitis B and 10 million with Hepatitis C) with women playing a critical role in disease transmission in Africa, with high rates of mother to child transmission of Hepatitis B infection. Most of the burden of Hepatitis B comes from infections acquired before the age of 5 years. Infected children develop persistent hepatitis and are more likely to develop progressive liver disease and cancer in early adulthood[v].
By 2030, it is projected that non-communicable diseases will account for more than three-quarters of deaths worldwide; cardiovascular diseases alone will be responsible for more deaths in low-income countries than infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional disorders combined[vi].
The societal costs of these chronic diseases will undoubtedly be profound. The under-resourced healthcare systems in Africa will become increasingly overburdened and the loss from the workforce of adults in their prime will have profound economic effects on families and communities. The increasing population within the sub-Saharan African region [vii], projected to be the highest in the world by 2050, will no doubt create more unmet demand for health services and put more pressure on already frail and fledgling health systems.
In the light of these challenges, SSI aims to address barriers to sustainable healthcare systems in the low resource communities within Africa as well as reducing the health impact of these chronic diseases through education and improved access to diagnostic and therapeutic health services.
There are at least 400 million people living below the poverty line in Africa today. This is one in every three Africans and they represent more than 70 percent of the world’s poorest people [viii]. Without your help, generations of people in Africa, especially vulnerable populations of children and women, may not have access to life-saving healthcare services that will enable them to realize their lives’ potential. Please assist SSI in its mission to give the invaluable gift of healthcare to people in underserved communities in Africa and help them achieve healthy and fulfilled lives.