The quest for Africa’s diagnostic self-sufficiency

By guest contributor Zibusiso Ndlovu

Despite the undeniable public health progress in recent decades, the African continent continues to face significant health challenges, especially from rising rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), emerging and resurging infections (Ebola, cholera, COVID19, polio, yellow fever, mpox), endemic diseases (HIV, TB, malaria) and rising prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), among other challenges. Africa has major diagnostic gaps, including suboptimal public health preparedness and it has continued to lag-behind in some health outcomes.

By the year 2050, Africa’s population is expected to double to two billion inhabitants, and this growth, combined with climatic and ecological changes, is likely to lead to perennial disease outbreaks. Reimagining diagnostic self-sufficiency of the future is an important discourse for Africa and this post explores the readiness of Africa to pursue diagnostic self-sufficiency.