Bulletin of the World Health Organization

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

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

Volume 87, Number 3, March 2009, 225-230

Table 1. Density of physicians and estimated annual physician inflows and outflows for 12 African countriesa

Country Physicians per 1000 population Inflow per 1000 physicians Outflow per 1000 physicians
Scenario Ib Scenario IIc
Central African Republic 0.08 68 54 62
Côte d’Ivoire 0.12 140 52 60
Democratic Republic of the Congo 0.11 33 48 56
Ethiopia 0.03 73 47 55
Kenya 0.14 49 47 55
Liberia 0.03 83 64 72
Madagascar 0.29 86 45 53
Rwanda 0.05 51 47 55
Sierra Leone 0.03 65 68 76
Uganda 0.08 49 43 51
United Republic of Tanzania 0.02 97 48 56
Zambia 0.14 29 48 56
Total 0.09 59 48 56


a Authors’ calculations were based on a WHO survey (available at: http://www.afro.who.int/hrh-observatory/documentcentre/questionnnare/quesb_health_training_institutions.xls).
b Scenario I uses country-specific estimates of outflows due to mortality and retirement and an additional outflow estimate of 1.5% per annum due to resignation and dismissal obtained from a Zambian case study.
c Scenario II follows a procedure similar to the one used for Scenario I but uses a higher rate of outflow (2.3%) due to resignation and dismissal obtained from a Mozambican case study.

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