IRIN Examines Expected Surge Of Doctors In Ethiopia

“Ethiopia is preparing for a flood of medical doctors within ‘three to four years,’ an influx meant to save a public health system that has been losing doctors and specialists to internal and external migration,” IRIN reports. “‘We are now implementing strategies that intend to increase the current below-World Health Organization [WHO] standard number of medical doctors and retaining them in public hospitals,’ Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia’s minister of health, told IRIN,” the news service writes. “‘We have now reached an enrollment rate of more than 3,100,’ [Adhanom] said,” adding, “The rate of enrollment in the country’s medical schools has increased tenfold from 2005, when it was below 300,” according to the news service.

“While WHO recommends countries have a minimum of one doctor per 10,000 people, Ethiopia has [less] than a fifth of that ratio, compared to a regional average of 2.2 physicians per 10,000 people,” the news service notes. “Through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the U.S. is supporting Ethiopia’s efforts to improve the quality of medical training,” according to the news service, which adds, “Challenges also remain in retaining doctors prone to migration. In 2006-2007, 37 percent of the country’s public-sector physicians worked in Addis Ababa, which was only home to less than four percent of the population” (8/14).

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