Why does Africa have the lowest number of Neurologists and how to cover the Gap?

J Neurol Sci. 2021 Dec 29;434:120119. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2021.120119. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Neurology is one of Africa’s central and noble specialties due to the frequency of its related diseases. Through this study we: -1-described the status of neurologists in Africa in terms of numbers,-2-listed the reasons and discussed how to increase their number, and how to get the most benefit of them in healthcare coverage.

METHODS: The distribution and number of neurologists in the African continent was acquired from many participants in different African countries using a survey sent between March 2020 and August 2020 by email. Further, data from the World health organization on the number of neurologists was added for the countries, from which we didn’t receive answers by the survey.

RESULTS: Surveys’ answers were received from representatives of 50 (92%) of the 54 African nations. Authors suggest a ranking into four levels according to the number of neurologists per nation. Level A [more than 201 neurologists per country] included 2 nations. Level B [31 to 200 neurologists per country] included six nations. Level C [1 to 30 neurologists per country] including the majority of African countries (36 nations). Level D includes 10 nations without any neurologists.

CONCLUSION: The need for reliable and competent neurologists with a sufficient number is considered as a crucial element to enhance the care of neurological diseases in Africa. For this, all African countries should establish new centers of excellence in neurology, by developing good south-south collaboration with supports from governmental and non-governmental institutions.

PMID:34982975 | DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2021.120119