245639 Where is my doctor? Human resources for health - Gender and reproductive rights perspectives

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:50 AM

Olufunke Adesuwa Akiyode, MHSA, MBA , SHOUT - GLOBAL HEALTH, Largo, MD
The World Health Organization defines health workers as all people engaged in the promotion, protection or improvement of the health of the population. This includes “family caregivers, patient-provider partners, part-time workers, health volunteers and community workers” (WHO, 2006). The recommended doctor to patient ratio is 1:600. This ratio varies widely among countries of the world. It is very low in most high income countries and very high in low income countries. For example, the doctor to patient ratio in Netherlands is 1:320 while in Tanzania, it is 1:50,000. The low number of health workers places a burden on women as the traditional care givers in many countries. The girl child might be denied basic needs like education, and social life in order to take care of the sick and elderly. Women's reproductive health and rights are also affected by the low number of health workers. High maternal mortality rate is recorded in countries with high doctor to patient ratio. For example, Ghana has a doctor to patient ratio of 1:13, 000 and a maternal mortality rate of 540 per 100,000 live births. The paper analyzes the human rights, reproductive rights and gender impacts of patient to health workers ratio in the world. It concludes by proffering solutions to reduce the health workers shortage, and its burden on women and their reproductive health rights.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the impact of health worker shortage on women's health and reproductive health rights. Compare the patient to health workers ratio in the world and its impact on maternal mortality and other health status indicators.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I am involved in public health education and research professionally and I have academic experience in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.