The health system in Togo is inadequate, especially in the rural and northern regions. But also in Lomé the conditions of doctors’ offices and hospitals are mostly very bad. In general, if you have no money, you also have no access to medical care. So it is hardly surprising that traditional medicine and healers continue to play an important role. The writer Hubert Fichte, who died in 1986, dealt with traditional medicine and psychiatry in Togo and published several essays and radio plays about it. An impressive film shows how mentally ill people receive treatment through prayer, and the French photographer Jean-Luc Gelin published one impressive photo series. The director of a hospital describes the problems of his patients, who often have financial difficulties when visiting the hospital.
AEDEV published a critical article on traditional medicine and new sales practices. The large number of counterfeit or expired drugs that are sold in the markets without packaging and laundry slip are another problem. The World Health Agency found that around 30% of the drugs sold in Togo are counterfeit. The various products for lightening the skin also have serious side effects and are harmful to health. Koffivi Mawuyram Madze from Togo developed the ‘Dokita Eyes’ (doctor’s eyes) project, an app designed to facilitate access to medical care.
A German doctor describes his personal Experience with the Voudou belief while his Togolese colleagues prefer to work abroad, as the politician Nathaniel Olympio recently discovered. The NGO ‘Solidarité et Action pour le Développement Durable’ (SADD) is committed to health and safety at work after an increasing number of accidents at work in the mining sector and in the companies of the free trade area.
Major health problems include diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. The supply of clean drinking water is still not guaranteed in many rural regions and is at the same time the cause of some diseases. The Le Figaro newspaper expressed concerns about the spread of yellow fever. Lassa fever has also occurred in northern Togo. China is also present in Togo in the medical field, as shown by many signs for traditional Chinese medicine or the opening of a health center with a focus on malaria treatment.
Today HIV / AIDS is a major social challenge. UNAIDS published extensive reports and statistics on Togo. The government is also aware of this problem and is promoting the use of condoms, among other things. A man suffering from AIDS breaks a social taboo and goes public with his illness. In the last 15 years, the number of new infections has already decreased by more than 50 percent.
The Institute for Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen has been supporting a research project in the central region on onchocerciasis (river blindness) for over 35 years, while the Christoffel Blind Mission is involved in several projects, especially in southern Togo.
According to pharmacylib, Togo legalized abortion only a few years ago, but only if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. ‘Plan international Togo’ is committed to protecting children and young people against all forms of violence and encourages them to exercise their rights.
There are around 600,000 people with physical disabilities in Togo, as Alves d’Almada Gorge from the Cédéao Commission for Social Affairs found.