Klitgaard decides that human capital should be interpreted as a World Bank “productive sector.” During his time in Equatorial Guinea, there is a cholera epidemic running rampant, malaria and disease are commonplace and hospitals are missing even the most basic necessities. This retelling calls some points to attention. One, talking to locals might be the best way to know what exactly is lacking and needed. Two, it’s important to distinguish what is really needed over what may appear to be needed. For example, hospitals lacked the most basic working equipment, but the solution wasn’t necessarily to get new equipment, but to get old equipment working again by having broken parts replaced and people who knew how to fix them. This tactic ensures sustainability, whereas a new piece of equipment could cause more problems (such as breaking in the near future without replaceable parts or not having anyone who knows how to use or fix it). Once again, long-term strategy overtakes short-term solutions. Three: new equipment would cost more and take over a great percentage of the allotted budget, but strategies like “maintenance” and “rehabilitation of existing equipment” could cost less and thus get more done (37).
Fixing Equatorial Guinea’s health problems was going to involve more than shiny new equipment.