Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

One in five African doctors work outside Africa

10.01.2008
Latest figures show that roughly 135 000 African-born physicians and professional nurses practice overseas in developed countries. This finding, published in the online open access journal Human Resources for Health, suggests that approximately one-fifth of doctors and 10% of nurses born in any of the 27 African states are currently working in a developed nation.

The fraction of health professionals abroad varies enormously across African countries, from 1% to over 70% according to the occupation and country. For example, for every Liberian physician working in Liberia, about two live abroad in developed countries. Countries that experienced recent civil war (e.g. Mozambique, Sierra Leone) or economic stagnation (e.g. Cameroon) see about half their home-born doctors working in a developed country.

The numbers were calculated using the most recent census data from the nine most important destination countries for African health professional emigrants. They are the first standardized, systematic and occupation-specific measure of skilled professionals working in developed countries who were born in a developing country. The numbers have almost certainly increased since the censuses were conducted between 1999-2001.

“The lack of systematic data on the extent of African health workers’ international movements has hampered any study into the causes and effects of African health professional migration,” explained author Michael Clemens, from the Center for Global Development, Washington DC.

The fear that health services in developed countries are poaching medical expertise from developing countries is a highly emotive and political issue. South Africa's health minister, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, claimed in 2002 that “if there is a single major threat to our overall health effort, it is the continued outward migration of key health professionals, particularly nurses.”

Similarly, after the UK National Health Service ended its active recruitment of staff from Sub-Saharan Africa in 2001, the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of Nursing praised its “strong moral lead.” BMA Chairman of Council James Johnson flatly declared that “the rape of the poorest countries must stop.”

But Clemens says that there is insufficient research to make such categorical judgements. “A Kenyan nurse working in London isn’t taking care of sick people in Kenya,” he says, “but that nurse is pursuing professional possibilities that aren’t available to her at home – something of inherent value. The amount of good she can do at home is often constrained by dazzlingly complex problems in the health system, problems utterly ignored by the blunt coercion of recruitment bans.”

The new data overcome some of the limitations of previous estimates and facilitate efforts to analyse the global impacts of health worker movements.

Media Contact
Matt McKay
Press Office, BioMed Central
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7079 4845
Email: press@biomedcentral.com
1 New data on African health professionals abroad
Michael A Clemens and Gunilla Pettersson
Human Resources For Health (in press)
2 Human Resources for Health is an Open Access, peer-reviewed, online journal covering all aspects of planning, producing and managing the health workforce - all those who provide health services worldwide.

Human Resources for Health aims to disseminate research on health workforce policy, the health labour market, health workforce practice, development of knowledge tools and implementation mechanisms nationally and internationally; as well as specific features of the health workforce, such as the impact of management of health workers' performance and its link with health outcomes. The journal encourages debate on health sector reforms and their link with human resources issues, a hitherto-neglected area.

3 BioMed Central (www.biomedcentral) is an independent online publishing house committed to providing immediate access without charge to the peer-reviewed biological and medical research it publishes. This commitment is based on the view that open access to research is essential to the rapid and efficient communication of science.

Matt McKay | BioMed Central
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>