Health, wellbeing and nutrition

Many residents in African cities face considerable challenges relating to health, nutrition and wellbeing, along with marginalisation or exclusion in accessing healthcare – especially those living in poverty. Yet these difficulties are often masked within wider data and policy debates by the so-called “urban advantage”.

Poor access to clean water, sanitation and affordable quality health services, as well as malnutrition, have made many people living in African cities – particularly in informal settlements – vulnerable to communicable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the extent of health vulnerabilities in cities and the wider consequences for national and global health security, along with the fragility of food and nutrition security in many urban centres.

Improving integration between multiple city systems – including healthcare, food, water and sanitation, waste management, energy and spatial planning – is key to securing better health, wellbeing and nutrition outcomes for residents in African cities. ACRC will look at the political dimensions underlying the ability of governments to provide affordable, higher quality health services and food, exploring potential policy approaches and interventions to improve access and availability.

Within the health, wellbeing and nutrition domain, we are initially focusing on the following cities:

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