Need, Demand and Supply of Health Care in Regards to Growing Emerging and Reemerging Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.04.Art011

Authors : Medang Raphael


Need in relation to health care, has generally been defined as the amount of medical care that medical experts believe a person should have to remain or become as healthy as possible, based on a current medical knowledge. This is also true for the individual and for the entire community. Thus, if a problem, a barrier or difficulty continues to exist on the path to accession to a higher level of health, the need exists. In “The definition and identification of need for health care[1],” Acheson stated that there exist four phenomena underlying health needs including: - the risk of pain and illness (in the sense of discomfort, or "malaise") - the risk of sickness - the inadequacy and deficiency - the mortality risk. Finally, although certain health needs are expressed, they do not correspond to real needs. This would provide different areas related to health interventions, including:

· The ideal zone (a need corresponds to an expressed demand and adequate health action);

· The area of ​​non-use (a health action not corresponding to any demand);

· Non-use of family planning services in both high population growth areas but also high poverty

· The waste area (a health action corresponding to a demand but with no corresponding need);

· The prescription of laboratory tests and other unnecessary medical procedures in response to public solicitation, especially persons holding health insurance

· The discontent area (a demand triggered by a real need, but to which no health action is taken);

· The recurrence of malaria cases in one region, and the desire by local residents, to have currently non-existent measures, to be taken by health and government authorities, on the environmental and sanitation plan.


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