Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Challenge of Retaining Health Care Workers in Africa

A major issue with meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 is the lack of health care workers. The World Health Organization just released a study concluding that Africa currently only has 30 percent of the required doctors, nurses and midwives to meet the recommended 2.28 doctors per 1,000 people. Without an additional 800,000 health care professionals, it is unrealistic that Africa will be able to meet goals to reduce AIDS, and improve maternal and child health.

Maintaining health professionals is difficult since many qualified health specialists leave African countries for better paying jobs abroad. Suggestions from the study for retaining health workers and attracting new ones include using community health workers, increasing training and providing more incentives locally.
--Jessica Milstead