A Partnership to Improve Health Worker Retention in Rural Areas

With half the world’s population living in rural areas, access to health care in remote and rural facilities is a major concern. Health workers tend to be located in cities—according to the World Health Organization, only about 25% of physicians and 38% of nurses work in rural areas.

Health workers in KenyaThe latest edition of CapacityPlus Voices, Partnering to keep health workers in the communities that need them, features Dr. Carmen Dolea of the World Health Organization. She talks about the WHO's global policy recommendations for increasing access to health workers through improved retention in remote and rural areas, and how CapacityPlus is serving as a partner in this work.

CapacityPlus has been involved from the beginning,” Dr. Dolea says. “We worked together with colleagues from CapacityPlus to fill the evidence gaps, draft the guidelines, and to eventually finalize them.”

CapacityPlus is currently partnering with the WHO to help apply the recommendations at the country level. In Uganda, CapacityPlus has helped the Ministry of Health obtain health worker preferences to assist in designing bundles of incentives and other retention interventions.

Last month’s CapacityPlus Voices, “Worth more than any money:” Building local capacity in health worker information systems, featured Kayode Odusote’s experiences with helping West African countries to gather and use health worker data.


Photo by Trevor Snapp. (Health workers at Kopsiro Health Center in Kenya)