Mozambique To Recruit Doctors From Other African Countries To Improve Health Infrastructure, Minister Says
Mozambique aims to recruit 8,000 doctors from other African countries during the next 10 years in an effort to improve its health care infrastructure, which has been highly affected by the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic, Health Minister Ivo Garrido said on Monday, Reuters reports. There are about 650 doctors serving the country's estimated 20 million people -- a figure that is about three times less doctors than what is recommended by international health experts. According to Garrido, a shortage of doctors and the increasing number of patients, many of whom are HIV-positive, in the country has created a crisis in state hospitals and clinics across Mozambique. He said that the Ministry of Health needs specialized doctors and not just general practitioners. Garrido added that the country might recruit doctors from Asia and Latin America if they cannot be recruited from Africa, where many countries are facing similar health care worker shortages.
Mozambique has an adult HIV prevalence of about 16%, and many health care workers are living with the virus, according to Reuters. The country's HIV prevalence has hindered its ability to provide access to basic health care, including prenatal services. "The shortage of qualified staff is significant in every area, but as with doctors, the deficit is huge, and AIDS is going to cause the loss of many workers in our sector," Garrido said. Nurses and medical assistants widely provide HIV testing and treatment services in Mozambique, but some health officials have said that poor salaries and large workloads could jeopardize their ability to continue doing so, according to Reuters. Nurses in Mozambique have an average monthly salary of about $230, while the salary for doctors is about twice that amount (Mangwiro, Reuters, 6/25).