Why African leaders like Buhari and Mugabe prefer getting health and medical treatment abroad

- 8/14/2017
Africa has some of the longest serving leaders in the world. Some of them have been in power for decades, and have gone from youth and vigor, to ailing frailty before our very eyes.
Oldest African leaders Nigeria's President Buhari and Mugabe
During their time as heads of state, many African leaders have been plagued by the inevitable ill health. But as many observers would argue,  instead of utilizing their own country's medical and health facilities to nurse themselves back to health, they display an unwavering preference for the medical services abroad.

No matter how small, health issues are usually a matter of life and death and should be taken very seriously. And the first step to tackling this is to begin at home, because that is where the heart is,  and where the body should heal. 

According to a recent eye opening report by  BBC Africa, the presidents of Nigeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, Benin and Algeria all have one thing in common; a clear lack of faith in the health systems at home. And for good reason too—These leaders are all too aware of the appalling conditions of their own health sectors. They certainly wouldn't trust their health to such inadequate and dire medical facilities and personnel.

BBC reports that In terms of time spent abroad getting medical help, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, who is 74 years old, is the first among equals. But within the past year all the above mentioned leaders,  have travelled overseas for one health reasons or another. And In many cases, as they fly out to get excellent medical help,  they leave behind poorly funded health services, which most of their citizens have no alternative but rely on.

According to reports by World Health organization,  In 2010, the average amount spent on health in African countries per person was a mere $135 (£100) compared to $3,150 spent per person in high-income countries. 

The sharp difference can be seen and felt in the quality of health care the amounts above provide in the daily lives of these countries citizens. In recession torn Zimbabwe, for example, state-run hospitals and clinics often run out of even the basic medicines like painkillers and antibiotics. Necessary drugs any half decent health facility should have. 

 President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been in power for almost 37 years.

He has been, has been continually criticised by his political rivals for running the Zimbabwe "from his hospital bed" . No pun intended—for a fact, he has already embarked on his third medical trip to Singapore this year. 'As for Africa's most populous country  Nigeria, the public health system is "terrible" because of poor funding' and continues to deteriorate every year. 

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