IRIN Examines Efforts To Attract Health Workers To Underserved, Rural Communities

IRIN examines WHO efforts to better understand factors influencing health workers’ decisions about where to work in order to help fight health care worker shortages in developing countries. According to the news service, a group of 40 experts assembled by the agency “is finalizing recommendations to help governments attract more health workers to sparsely staffed areas,” IRIN writes.

So far, the panel has found the important role access to housing and schools can play in attracting workers to underserved areas. The panel also noted that graduates from medical programs “with a rural background are more likely to work outside urban areas,” the news service writes. For health workers in rural areas, access to the internet can be key in lessening the degree of isolation felt by the workers, according to IRIN. The piece also reflects on the role financial incentives can play in attracting the health workforce to rural areas.

The article describes the living conditions health workers in Chad face, including a lack of available housing, electricity and clean water. The piece includes comments by Jean-Marc Braichet, WHO’s coordinator of health workforce, migration and retention, who notes the importance of developing recruitment strategies that keep in mind the context in which the worker will live and operate. The piece also includes comments from a state Health Ministry regional director from Chad (7/2).