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[afro-nets] Exodus of African Nurses Worsens Continent's Health Crisis
- Subject: [afro-nets] Exodus of African Nurses Worsens Continent's Health Crisis
- From: Dr Rana Jawad Asghar <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 19:13:02 -0700 (PDT)
- Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
Exodus of African Nurses Worsens Continent's Health Crisis
Monday, July 12, 2004
The number of African nurses leaving their jobs to work in pri-
vate hospitals and research firms within their countries or find
better jobs abroad is increasing fast and aggravating the conti-
nent's health crisis, the New York Times reports today.
According to the newspaper, sub-Saharan Africa's low-income
countries currently need at least twice as many nurses around
620,000 as there are now in order to take care of patients,
many of them suffering from AIDS and tuberculosis.
However, opportunities abroad that provide higher salaries and
less workload are decreasing the work force in Africa. In addi-
tion, health workers themselves are dying fast from many dis-
eases. In Malawi, for instance, one-quarter of public health
workers, including nurses, will be dead, mostly of AIDS and tu-
berculosis, by 2009, the Times says.
"My friends are telling me there's work there [United Kingdom],
there's money there," said a nurse in Malawi in charge of the
capital city's main labor ward, where 10 nurse midwives deliver
over 10,000 babies per year. "They're telling me I'm wasting my
During a World Health Organization annual assembly in May, Afri-
can countries said they would seek compensation from developed
nations for losing the investment they made on educating the
nurses, who leave their countries in search of better opportuni-
ties abroad. The issue will be discussed again during the 15th
International AIDS Conference, which started today in Bangkok
(Celia Dugger, New York Times, July 12).
Rana Jawad Asghar MD. MPH.
Coordinator South Asian Public Health Forum
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