The launch of the Al-Sumait ...
The launch of the Al-Sumait Prize is about carrying forward the legacy of the late Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, who aged just 35 established a humanitarian organization in Africa known today as Direct Aid.
Over the next decades Dr. Al-Sumait’s efforts resulted in the building of over 120 hospitals and dispensaries, over 800 schools, and over 200 training centers for women. It also has drilled thousands of wells and helped construct many agricultural and irrigation projects. Now the State of Kuwait has launched a new series of $1 million prizes for innovation in health, food security and education established by His Highness the Emir of Kuwait. And the first prize will awarded in 2016 to an innovator, team or organization that has made a significant and lasting impact in furthering health development in Africa. As Bill Gates, a co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a member of the Al-Sumait Prize Board of Trustees, wrote in an exclusive article published by arabianbusiness.com, ‘Al Sumait understood that lifting the world’s poorest out of poverty had to start with the building blocks of life – access to healthcare, education, clean water, and the agricultural tools necessary to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.’ Dr. Al-Sumait was a man of extraordinary dedication to humanitarian aid in Africa, a pursuit the Al-Sumait Prize is committed to furthering into the future.
An estimated 1.13 billion people currently ...
An estimated 1.13 billion people currently live in the 53 countries of Africa, the worlds’ second largest continent. The United Nations predicts that the continent's population will double by 2050.
According to the UN, Africa’s population in the last 30 years has doubled overall and tripled in urban areas, a pace of growth that has exacerbated nutrition and health disorders. Some 20 of 34 of the countries with the world’s highest burdens of malnutrition (accounting for 90 % of the global burden), the lowest rates of life expectancy, and the highest death rates from communicable or infectious diseases are found in Africa.
For all the progress that has been made in recent decades to tackle poverty across Africa, a reality is that the lives of tens of millions of Africans remain marred by poverty, hunger, poor education and ill health. This is a challenge that Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for Health exists to help solve by finding the thought-leader solutions that will ensure African countries, from the north to the south, can successfully confront and address.
From a macro perspective, Africa cannot ...
From a macro perspective, Africa cannot be described as a healthy continent, despite success stories where individual countries have achieved substantial healthcare success for their citizens.
Nonetheless, the average lifespan of Africans is 14 years less than an average world citizen and the mortality rate for children younger than five years is more than double the world average, according to a KPMG report citing WHO and UN statistics
The World Health Organisations attributes almost two-thirds of deaths in Africa to communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions and nutritional deficiencies. It is a sad reality that just 28 percent of Africa’s deaths are caused by non-communicable conditions compared to a global figure of 64 percent.
Malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhoea diseases and HIV and AIDS are the biggest killers, a reflection of widespread unhygienic living conditions, malnutrition and a broad-based medical infrastructure.