Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Brain drain of African doctors cost sub-Saharan Africa 2 bln USD

03 August 2016, 09:09

Nairobi - A senior Kenyan official on Tuesday called upon African governments to curb the number of doctors moving to work abroad that has cost sub-Saharan Africa up to 2 billion U.S. dollars invested in training the clinicians.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr. Fred Matiangi, said the medical experts are emigrating to the West due to poor pay and low level of scientific research.

"The number of qualified doctors moving abroad to work in the West has been high over the years, where nine sub-Saharan African countries have ended up losing 2 billion dollars as the clinicians seek work in more prosperous nations," Matiangi said during the occasion of the opening of the 6th Annual Medical Education Partnership (MEPI) Symposium in Nairobi.

He said Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe have suffered the worst economic loses due to the clinical brain drain while Australia, Canada, Britain and the United States have benefited the most from recruiting doctors trained in Africa.

"The migration of trained health workers from poorer countries to richer ones exacerbates the problem of already weak health systems in low-income countries battling epidemics of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and malaria and lately, Ebola," Matiang'i said.

The three-day forum has brought together local and international players in medical education and includes representatives from MEPI Schools across Africa, representatives from the funding institutions, and other partners who support medical health training and research development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Matiangi said there is a strong relationship between education and development, with studies having shown that increases in educational attainment precede improvements in health status.

"This relation between education and health arises because higher education leads to healthier life style, and because higher educated people gather, process and interpret information about healthy behavior better," he noted.

The CS said in Kenya all trends in maternal health indicators favored the more educated women compared to those with no or low education.

"Indeed this is why the Kenyan government has embraced universal basic education to improve enrolment and transition levels," Matiangi said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Nathan Bakyaita, said MEPI programs have contributed towards improvement of the quality of medical education and learning facilities, curriculum reforms, e-learning and faculty retention.

"Although life expectancy in Africa has been recording gains hence improvements in longevity, the quality of life in Africa is greatly diminished by heavy disease burdens, high morbidity rates and high risks to life," he said.

In 2013, WHO studies showed that an estimated 24.7 million people were living with HIV, accounting for 71 per cent of the global total, whereas the number of health staff has remained low.

The recent Ebola crisis also highlighted the continent's doctor shortages with for example Uganda, with a population of 35 million people registering less than 5,000 doctors and 30,000 nurses.

Bakyaita said whereas Africa is home to 13.4 per cent of the world's population it contributes barely 1.1 per cent of scientific researchers in the world, with just about one scientist or engineer per 10,000 inhabitants.

The resulting shortage of qualified faculty in African universities, especially in the scientific and technical fields, affects the quality of graduates entering the industry workforce, with 11 million new graduates entering the African job market annually devoid of the relevant skills to develop African solutions for African challenges.

- Xinhua


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Decision to leave ODM for Jubilee...

The decision to leave ODM for Jubilee is final, an MP has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM accuses Jubilee Party of usin...

ODM claims that the Jubilee Party is using state resources to campaign in west Pokot. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
STATEMENT: Uhuru on Mandera attac...

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks to Kenyans after Mandera Shabaab attacks leave 12 dead. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Mudavadi set for 2 month long wes...

Musalia Mudavadi is set for western Kenya campaigns.

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
I need a miracle to win in 2017, ...

An MP says that he needs a miracle to win the 2017 elections but has not given up on victory despite the odds being against him. Read more...