The health worker shortage in Africa: are enough physicians and nurses being trained?

WHO Bulletin

Yohannes Kinfu, Mario R Dal Poz, Hugo Mercer, David B Evans

Publication details

Number of pages: 6
Publication date: 2009
Languages: English


This analysis of health care workers shortage in Africa suggests that workforce shortage in some countries under study are even more alarming than what is suggested by the existing literature. In some Sub-Saharan countries the workforce would need to be scaled up by as much as 140% to attain the international health development targets such as those in the Millennium Declaration.

Variety of complementary, shorter-term responses must be considered. For instance, tasks shifting from specialist to mid level workers Aggressive retention policies, such as improving the remuneration and working conditions of health workers, addressing unemployment, using telemedicine, and encouraging short-term in-migration from surplus to deficit countries.