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Angola Healthcare

With Government and foreign assistance, Angola's healthcare system has generally improved since the cessation of civil war. Since 2002, the mortality rate among children under five has dropped from 250 to 195 per 1,000 live births in more recent years. UNICEF, an internationally funded organisation, has implemented interventions for mothers and children in Angola's community. The program aims to reduce child morbidity by distributing packages including pre-natal care, mosquito nets for protection against malaria, vaccinations for newborn babies and education of childhood illness including malnutrition, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection.

Angolans living in remote and rural parts of the country have no access to medical care and are required to travel long distances to medical centres. Despite bilateral agreements with Cuba that have allowed up to 800 Cuban medical professionals to work there, Angola still suffers from chronic shortages in facilities, personnel, medicines and pharmaceuticals. Angola’s government has acknowledged that improving the country’s health services are one of its greatest challenges and that investment in health is also dependent on investment in basic infrastructure.

The Angolan Ministry of Health (MINSA) is responsible for the provision of health services throughout the country. The recently published District Health Strategy offers a new approach to assist the poorest members of the population and to provide increased accessibility to general healthcare. Health service delivery is divided into three levels of care: primary, secondary and tertiary with the levels of care corresponding to the three levels of government – district, provincial and national. Funding of primary care facilities has increased significantly in recent years resulting in improved access to basic health services. Angola is, in contrast to many of its neighbours, less dependent on international donor funding with approximately 80% of total health expenditure provided by the public sector. The total health expenditure as a percentage of GDP has remained low and is approximately 3% per annum. Use of private health facilities is highest in Luanda and other cities with large populations. Increasing numbers of companies based in the larger population centres are using private health facilities in Angola through private health insurance providers.

In general, private medical facilities and clinics are generally of a better standard in comparison to their public counterparts. Expatriates and short term visitors who require medical treatment are advised to use private medical facilities wherever possible. Patients will be asked to pay in cash at the time of treatment, regardless of whether or not they hold Angola medical insurance. A lack of medical specialists and equipment means that patients who require serious medical attention will need medical evacuation to South Africa which has up-to-date modern facilities. The best clinics are located in Luanda and include the Clinic Medigroup, Clinic Clidopa, Clinic Espirito Santo and Clinic Sagrada Esperanca. Expatriates with children can receive emergency care and a range of diagnostic and health care services at the Paediatric Hospital David Bernardino (HPDB), the largest children's hospital in Angola. Medical resources are extremely limited outside of Luanda and urban areas, therefore emergency evacuation will be required in the event of a medical emergency.

Expatriates and short term visitors to Angola are strongly advised to purchase international travel and medical insurance which provides cover in the event of a medical evacuation to South Africa and subsequent return to their home country.





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