U.S. Should Act To Prevent Further Health Worker Shortages in Africa, Editorial Says
Although the Group of Eight industrialized nations at their summit earlier this month failed to address the shortage of trained health workers in Africa -- which is "hurting the effort to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS" -- that "should not prevent the United States from taking a strong position on its own," a Boston Globe editorial says. The health worker shortage in Africa is a "two-sided problem" -- countries "lack the universities to train and educate all the personnel they need," and the health workers they do produce "decide to leave Africa" for better wages and living conditions, according to the editorial. The solution to the problem must be "comprehensive" and should include "commitments by industrialized nations to educate more of their own" physicians and nurses and to reduce recruitment from "underserved areas," the editorial says. It concludes, "Providing AIDS drugs is a great step forward, but the industrialized countries will fail in addressing the full dimensions of the AIDS pandemic if they do not help Africa build a stronger corps of trained health workers" (Boston Globe, 7/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.