With just 11 percent of the world’s population but a whopping 24 percent of the global disease burden, improving health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa is a major challenge. There is increasing recognition that the private sector has an enormous role to play in addressing this challenge, especially for the poor.
Fifty percent of the $16.7 billion that consumers spent on health care in 2005 went to private providers. And almost half of health care consumers in the lowest income quintiles in Ethiopia and Kenya receive care from private, revenue-generating providers. Supporting these health providers is critical to addressing health challenges in these regions.