It is overwhelming how roads and distances affect almost everything in our livelihoods in Africa, especially distances, bad roads and public health – the case of the enclaved.
Enclaved communities are often distanced from economic opportunities, information and connections that can help individuals monetize on their resources. At the same time, they need money to bridge the health access gap in a highly monetized health system; money, which they can not afford because they have to focus the little they have on subsistence.
Because of such poverty, people get infected or infested undetected due to ignorance, do not get diagnosed due to lack of access to diagnostic facilities, equipment and materials. And the illnesses remain unattended and become chronic due to the absence of proper medical attention. In case of communicable diseases, infectiousness becomes aggravated alongside mobility and mortality.
Health care facilities and workers who could have helped such communities are either uninformed of their plight, indifferent to it (as they focus on income generation because these communities can not afford advanced diagnosis and treatment), or unable to reach them, even when they are concerned, due to the resource strain involved in reaching out to them.
The situation may often be mitigated by traditional prevention and treatment approaches that work as effective cures or coping mechanisms, but where these are absent or ineffective, the people are doomed to see their individuals and communities “rot” as diseases get chronic, endemic and epidemic.
There is a need for stronger rural advocacy and consideration among stakeholders of public health to reinforce the human compassionate aspect of health as a fundamental human right, that goes beyond the surface demands of health business, using primary prevention and intervention outreach as a cheaper, easier and more sustainable pro – active approach, while bearing upon governments to improve health access by investing in health and by improving on road networks. If health is wealth, then, a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Nations should invest more of their wealth in health.