The current public health infrastructure in Togo is inadequate to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Togo does not have the resources to fight the AIDS epidemic alone.
Impact of poverty on health care
Poverty and limited international assistance have had an especially acute negative impact on Togo’s health sector. The Togolese government spends just $9 USD per capita per year on healthcare amounting to less than 1% of its gross domestic product. This small amount is inadequate to deal with the rising HIV/AIDS prevalence.
Public Health in Togo
Togo’s public health infrastructure has difficulty providing the most basic medical services; the added demands of the HIV/AIDS epidemic further strain its ability to respond. While Togolese doctors often receive adequate training, they lack the funding, technology, and pharmaceutical support needed to perform their jobs.
Additionally, the limited public health services that are available are not free, and the poor rarely have money to access them when needed. All hospitals in the Kara Region require patients to pay in advance for all medications and hospital services. Patients must provide their own food and toiletries and clean their own beds and rooms. No mosquito nets in the pediatric wards protect young patients from malaria infection. There is no medical insurance nor is there any credit for medical services.
Delayed treatment results in more severe health problems
Because of the high costs and the pay-in-advance system, most people visit the hospital only when they are extremely sick. It is common to see people with conditions that were once preventable or easily treatable, much sicker because medical attention was not sought earlier. The HIV/AIDS epidemic exacerbates this situation. Because of the stigma against HIV/AIDS and the continuous treatment it requires, people do not get tested or seek care until they are severely ill, which in turn, further constrains public health resources.
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