In short, health care workers save lives. The number and quality of health care workers are positively associated with for example the reduction of infant, child and maternal mortality. Furthermore, evidence shows that especially primary health care has an important role to play in addressing key public health care problems.
The World Health Report of 2006 “Working together for Health” shows a worldwide shortfall of 4.3 million health care workers, of which 1.8 million in Africa. The African continent has 24% of the global disease burden but only 3% of the world’s health workers and less than 1% of the world’s health expenditure.
The causes for this deficit in African countries are multiple and relate to a combination of factors such as insufficient professionals, internal misdistribution, inappropriate task allocation, deficient working conditions and brain drain. Read more >>>
The HURAPRIM research project deals with several of these issues and intends to develop innovative interventions and policies to help address the health workers crisis.
The situation is examined in five countries, which are selected purposively representing a wide range of geographic, socio-economic and political realities:
- Mali in West Africa;
- Sudan in northern Africa,
- Uganda in East Africa;
- Botswana and South Africa in Southern Africa
The project will focus on primary health care (not only doctors and nurses but also community health workers and traditional health practitioners) as this is the most accessible and holistic level of health care with the potential to make the greatest impact on achieving the Millennium Development Goals by improving access to (primary) health care, especially for people living in underserved areas.