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The contribution of international health volunteers to the health workforce in sub-Saharan Africa

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dc.contributor.author Laleman, G. en_US
dc.contributor.author Kegels, G. en_US
dc.contributor.author Marchal, B. en_US
dc.contributor.author Van der Roost, D. en_US
dc.contributor.author Bogaert, I. en_US
dc.contributor.author Van Damme, W. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2007-12-06T14:42:57Z
dc.date.available 2007-12-06T14:42:57Z
dc.date.issued 2007 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1478-4491 en_US
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-4491-5-19
dc.identifier.other ITG-H1A en_US
dc.identifier.other ITG-H2A en_US
dc.identifier.other ITG-H3A en_US
dc.identifier.other ITG-I4B en_US
dc.identifier.other ITG-H5B en_US
dc.identifier.other ITG-HLA en_US
dc.identifier.other HEALTH en_US
dc.identifier.other U-PUBLIC en_US
dc.identifier.other INTER en_US
dc.identifier.other U-ADMIN en_US
dc.identifier.other ELECTRONIC en_US
dc.identifier.other DOI en_US
dc.identifier.other URL en_US
dc.identifier.other FTA en_US
dc.identifier.other ABSTRACT en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10390/1312
dc.description.abstract ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In this paper, we aim to quantify the contribution of international health volunteers to the health workforce in sub-Saharan Africa and to explore the perceptions of health service managers regarding these volunteers. METHODS: Rapid survey among organizations sending international health volunteers and group discussions with experienced medical officers from sub-Saharan African countries. RESULTS: We contacted 13 volunteer organizations having more than 10 full-time equivalent international health volunteers in sub-Saharan Africa and estimated that they employed together 2072 full-time equivalent international health volunteers in 2005. The numbers sent by secular non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is growing, while the number sent by development NGOs, including faith-based organizations, is mostly decreasing. The cost is estimated at between US$36 000 and US$50 000 per expatriate volunteer per year. There are trends towards more employment of international health volunteers from low-income countries and of national medical staff.Country experts express more negative views about international health volunteers than positive ones. They see them as increasingly paradoxical in view of the existence of urban unemployed doctors and nurses in most countries. Creating conditions for employment and training of national staff is strongly favoured as an alternative. Only in exceptional circumstances is sending international health volunteers viewed as a defendable temporary measure. CONCLUSION: We estimate that not more than 5000 full-time equivalent international health volunteers were working in sub-Saharan Africa in 2005, of which not more than 1500 were doctors. A distinction should be made between (1) secular medical humanitarian NGOs, (2)development NGOs, and (3) volunteer organizations, as Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and United Nations volunteers (UNV). They have different views, undergo different trends and are differently appreciated by government officials.International health volunteers contribute relatively small numbers to the health workforce in sub-Saharan Africa, and it seems unlikely that they will do more in the future. In areas where they play a role, their contribution to service delivery is sometimes very significant. en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.publisher BioMed Central en_US
dc.subject International cooperation en_US
dc.subject Development aid en_US
dc.subject Humanitarian action en_US
dc.subject NGOs en_US
dc.subject Expatriates en_US
dc.subject Missionaries en_US
dc.subject Volunteers en_US
dc.subject Health personnel en_US
dc.subject Role en_US
dc.subject Attitudes en_US
dc.subject Africa en_US
dc.title The contribution of international health volunteers to the health workforce in sub-Saharan Africa en_US
dc.type Article-E en_US
dc.citation.issue 19 en_US
dc.citation.jtitle Human Resources for Health en_US
dc.citation.volume 5 en_US
dc.citation.pages 9 en_US
dc.publisher.place London en_US
dc.identifier.pmid http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17672889
dc.identifier.url http://www.human-resosurces-health.com/content/5/1/19
dc.citation.jabbreviation Hum Resources Health en_US


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