Editorials

Stopping Africa's medical brain drain

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7507.2 (Published 30 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:2
  1. James Johnson (jjohnson@bma.org.uk), chairman of council
  1. BMA, BMA House, London WC1H 9JP

    The rich countries of the North must stop looting doctors and nurses from developing countries

    Africa will be the major focus of the G8 summit in Gleneagles next week, and rightly so. Nearly 11 million children aged under 5 years are dying every year worldwide from treatable diseases. Most of them are living in developing countries, with more than four million of these deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.1 Along with the disastrous effects of warfare, HIV/AIDS is wiping out young adults and leaving frail, malnourished children in the care of their siblings and grandparents.

    It is difficult to see how the countries of sub-Saharan Africa can develop economically and politically when such large proportions of their adult populations are living with chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other tropical diseases. Antiretroviral drugs could make a dramatic difference, and so could appropriate aid. Although the developed countries of the North are giving aid with one hand, they …

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