Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Africa needs many more health workers

Africa will need many more health workers in the continent if there is any hope of meeting the Millennium Development Goal of improving health by 2015. A study from the journal Health Affairs says the continent needs 800,000 more health care workers.

From the New York Times, writer Sarah Arnquis gives us more details on the report. This link goes to a handy map of the world that shows the concentration of health workers in each nation.

Africa has about 30 percent of the 1.16 million doctors, nurses and midwives it needs, according to a study published Aug. 6 in the journal Health Affairs. Researchers estimate it would cost $2.6 billion to pay the additional workers, if they were available.

The estimates are based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation that each African country should have at least 2.28 doctors, nurses and midwives per 1,000 people to care for the population and reach the Millennium Development Goals.

The authors recommend that policymakers improve productivity by using more community health workers, providing incentives to motivate and retain workers and increasing training capacity.

Another Health Affairs study says that in a recent survey the majority of Ugandan health workers reported low morale and dissatisfaction with their working conditions and wages.

No comments: