WEF outcomes to help tackle brain-drain in health sector

Last week, Rwanda hosted a high level meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) for the first time. The meeting is the first of its kind on the African continent and the summarised outcomes of the discussions, debates and meetings will highlight and offer answers to some of Africa’s challenges in its quest for development.

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Dr Joseph Kamugisha

Last week, Rwanda hosted a high level meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) for the first time. 

The meeting is the first of its kind on the African continent and the summarised outcomes of the discussions, debates and meetings will highlight and offer answers to some of Africa’s challenges in its quest for development.

There have been developed blueprints on the continent, but a review on the trend of implementation has been much slower as compared to other continents. This is the reason why experts call upon African men and women to rekindle their potential to the fullest.

The economy of Africa plays a significant impact on the health of its citizens. There is an urgent need to plan, implement and execute ideas to fast-track key transformation areas of the African economy commensurate to the needs of its citizens.

There is no doubt that health is one of the urgent needs for African people. There is high and profound correlation between the economy and life expectancy.

There has been marked and progressive developments in many countries; Rwanda is a profound example of a country that has overcome tragedies of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to record sustainable trends on development.

The country has been working hard to improve many key areas aimed to eradicate poverty from its population.

With Rwanda being one of the most secure areas in the world based on recent publications, there is currently great focus to improve education and health sector among others.

The inauguration of East and central African medical school division last week is one of the key successes to highlight in the education sector and a key transformation to tackle the challenges of brain-drain.

There is no doubt that the medical school will train and bring good levels of expertise in the country and the region.

Increasing the number of qualified and potential healthcare providers will tackle the challenges posed by brain-drain.

Africa currently has the highest number of its citizens who travel to seek medical services and expertise abroad as compared to other parts of the world.

Medical expertise and technology advancements are key issues to address and largely rely on the economy of a particular nation.

The number of skilled medical care providers is still low as compared to the population’s needs.

There are many citizens from America or European countries who regularly travel abroad to seek improved healthcare services, especially on some of the most aggressive illnesses.

High level medical expertise and treatment modalities call for raised payments that many developing countries struggle to meet.

For brain-drain, the departure of health professionals, especially in the past, has eroded the ability of medical and social services delivery in several sub-Saharan countries.

In a bid to tackle this problem, the Rwandan government took initiative several years ago to increase the wages of health workers.

Salaries of health workers were more than doubled and there is continuous improvement in the infra-structure, accessibility of modern medical equipments though the procedure calls for a gradual process.

Today, many health experts are being trained locally with the help of human for resource health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and various American universities.

This is key to finding permanent solutions for brain-drain and improves on the number of skilled health care providers in the country.

Currently, hundreds of post-graduate students are being trained in various university teaching hospitals.
It will also help peripheral areas of the country get equipped with enough expertise.

Low accessibility of quality of services from rural health centres partly hinges on the lack of enough equipments, lack of enough and qualified expertise.

Many district hospitals lack medical consultants to handle complicated issues. As a result they have to transfer a high number of fatal cases to referral hospitals that in turn get crowded due to lack of enough space to accommodate them.

Most patients are transferred in critical conditions and arrive for health support towards the end stage of their life. This has made some hospitals register high number of non-accountable death tolls.

Many institutions in our countries are increasingly dependent on foreign expertise, mainly to fill the human resource gap created by brain-drain and this pushes the cost of running the institutions very high.

However some specialities require high levels of training and accessibility that our countries cannot afford. There is a very big gap in areas of cardiology and oncology, specialities with increased needs from the population.

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