Book Launch

Epidemics and the health of African Nations

Epidemics remain one of the ten leading causes of death in Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently battling the second- largest Ebola outbreak recorded, with 2, 100 cases identified and 1, 412 lives lost. This latest outbreak is just  the most recent of the disease and epidemics  that pervade Africa, leaving the continent staggering under the burden of preventing, reducing or eliminating such health crises. Historical, political, environmental and economic forces can be identified in Africa’s vulnerability to such diseases.

The Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflection’s (MISTRA) upcoming research on Epidemics and the Health of African Nations explores these forces. It draws together researchers and practitioners from within the continent to examine Africa’s susceptibility to disease, and to demonstrate that this disease occurs commonly because of political and economic influences. Authors show how these factors also determine the way epidemics are managed and controlled.

Researchers found that Africa creates conditions that are ripe for the spread of disease, and explore why epidemics and endemics remain a public health challenge for the continent. They discuss diseases ranging from those with periodic outbreaks, such as malaria and cholera, to endemics such as HIV, and extending  to  outbreaks of uncommon diseases like listeriosis.

Authors extract lessons from case studies in different parts of Africa; challenge conventional frameworks about disease to argue for a multi-faceted ‘syndemics’ approach that takes account of the interrelationship between disease and political and socioeconomic contexts; examine the factors affecting the efficacy of frontline healthcare workers and point to the diseases and health challenges of Africa’s future.

MISTRA’s book on Epidemics and the Health of the African Nations is edited by Zamanzima Mazibuko, Senior Researcher in the Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement Faculty.

DATE: 15 July 2019

TIME: 18h00 – 20h30

VENUE: FNB Conference Centre, 114 Grayston Drive, Sandton

For  RSVP to the launch, media enquiries or interview requests please contact:

Communications Officer

Siphokazi Sigenu