November 28, 2007

Africa’s health workforce crisis

Across sub-Saharan Africa, thousands of people die every day from malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and other preventable and treatable conditions. Africa bears 25% of the burden of disease around the world, yet has only 3% of all health workers. Millions of people across the continent thus suffer needlessly, because they cannot obtain medical care from trained personnel.

In this article, 3 persons working for McKinsey & Company propose some advice for what to do about the heavy problems. For example, they write this:
“Community health workers, another type of paraprofessional, can also help meet Africa’s health delivery needs. These workers receive much less training (a few hours to several months) than a substitute medical doctor does. Providing relatively simple, yet equally invaluable, services, they support rural villages with a wide variety of basic services, such as hygiene, sanitation, reproductive health, first aid, and, in some cases, vaccinations and rudimentary interventions, including oral rehydration therapy for infants.”

Do you have some more ideas to improve the health situation in Africa?
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