Nigeria has the highest number of medical doctors in Africa, followed by Algeria and South Africa. WHO report shows Nigeria as the leading country in Africa with the highest number of doctors. However, the country falls short in the doctor-to-patient ratio.
The report from World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that Nigeria, Algeria and South Africa are the leading countries in Africa with the highest number of doctors. According to WHO, Nigeria tops with 74,543 doctors, Algeria-72,604 and South Africa with 46.393 doctors. However, most countries in Africa still fall short in the doctor-to-patient ratio as the number of doctors per 10,000 people tells a different story.
The population of Africa has been growing at a rate of 2.5% year-on-year over the last two decades. By 2050, it may reach 2.4 billion despite being served by only 2% of the total number of doctors in the world.
There are not enough medical doctors in Africa to meet the health needs of its growing population. The ratio of doctors to patient, on average, is 1 doctor for 10,000 people. Estimated figures show that Africa has a shortage of 2.3 million doctors and will increase to a shortage of around 4.3 million doctors by 2035.
According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) NHWA Data Platform, Nigeria has the highest number of medical doctors in Africa. With 74,543 medical doctors to cater to a population of over 210 million; its doctor to patient ratio is 1:2,800. Algeria, in second, has 72,604 medical doctors catering to a population of 44 million; a doctor to patient ratio of 1:606.
South Africa is third on the list, with 46,393 medical doctors to attend to the health needs of 61 million people. South Africa’s doctor to patient ratio is 1:1,314.9.
DR Congo and Ethiopia complete the top five countries with the highest number of medical doctors in Africa. DR Congo has 31,546 medical doctors for its 95.24 million people, with one doctor attending to 3,019.1 patients. Ethiopia has 12,174 medical doctors to cater for 117 million people; a doctor to patient ratio of 1:9,610.
Number of Medical Doctors (per 10,000 population)
From the WHO NHWA Data Platform, Mauritius leads other African countries on the continent with 27.13 doctors per 10,000 population. Seychelles is next with 22.51 doctors per 10,000 population. Libya is third with 20.9 doctors per 10,000 population.
Algeria has 17.19 doctors per 10,000 population and Tunisia has 13.02 doctors per 10,000 population. These are the only countries outside of the top three to have over 10 doctors, but less than 20, per 10,000 population.
Cape Verde, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Namibia feature in the top 10 with 8.31, 7.92, 7.46, 7.31 and 5.9 doctors per 10,000 population, respectively.
Nigeria and other African countries remain far below WHO recommendations on the required number of medical personnel to cater to its teeming population.
The growing population in African countries will continue to drive the need for excellent quality and accessible healthcare services to attain the UHC. The target to attain UHC by 2030 is part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.
Countries with the Best Doctors in Africa: A Closer Look
Africa is a vast and diverse continent with a burgeoning healthcare system that has made significant strides over the years. While healthcare infrastructure and quality of medical services vary from one country to another, there are several nations on the continent that stand out for having some of the best doctors in Africa. In this blog, we will explore these countries, shedding light on their healthcare systems, medical advancements, and the factors that contribute to their esteemed reputation.
- South Africa
South Africa boasts a well-developed healthcare system with a strong emphasis on medical education and research. It is home to several world-class medical institutions, including the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand. South Africa’s healthcare system is a mix of public and private sectors, offering a range of services to its citizens. The country’s doctors are known for their training, expertise, and access to modern medical technology.
Egypt has a rich history of medicine dating back to ancient times. Today, it continues to excel in the field of healthcare. The country has numerous medical schools and research institutions, producing highly skilled doctors who contribute to both national and international healthcare. Egypt’s medical professionals are well-regarded for their proficiency in various specialties, including cardiology, neurosurgery, and oncology.
Tunisia has made significant advancements in healthcare in recent years, making it one of the top destinations for medical tourism in Africa. The country boasts an excellent healthcare infrastructure with state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained medical professionals. Tunis, the capital city, is home to some of the best hospitals and clinics on the continent.
Morocco has invested heavily in healthcare infrastructure, and it is reaping the benefits with a growing reputation for high-quality medical services. The country has made strides in medical research and offers various specialties, such as dermatology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Morocco’s doctors are known for their skill and commitment to providing top-notch healthcare.
Nigeria, with its vast population and diverse healthcare landscape, has a significant number of well-trained doctors who have made remarkable contributions to medicine both within the country and internationally. Nigerian healthcare professionals are prominent in various specialties and have gained recognition for their work in countries worldwide.
Ghana is another African nation with a healthcare system on the rise. The country’s government has invested in medical education and infrastructure, resulting in improved healthcare quality and access. Ghanaian doctors are highly regarded for their dedication to their patients and the ever-improving standard of care they provide.
Kenya is known for its bustling healthcare sector, with doctors who are respected for their expertise and commitment to their profession. Nairobi, the capital city, is home to numerous reputable hospitals and medical schools. Kenyan doctors have garnered international recognition in fields like surgery, cardiology, and infectious diseases.
Factors Contributing to Excellence in African Healthcare
- Education and Training: Many African countries have invested heavily in medical education and training programs, resulting in a steady stream of highly qualified doctors.
- Medical Research: The pursuit of medical research is critical to the advancement of healthcare. African nations that prioritize research are more likely to produce exceptional doctors.
- Infrastructure and Technology: Countries that invest in healthcare infrastructure and modern medical technology tend to attract and retain top medical talent.
- Public and Private Collaboration: A harmonious collaboration between public and private healthcare sectors can enhance the quality of healthcare services.
- Medical Tourism: Countries that promote medical tourism often focus on providing high-quality healthcare services to attract patients from around the world.
Which African Country Has the Best Medical System?
Defining the “best” medical system in Africa can be subjective, as it depends on various factors. Countries like South Africa, Egypt, and Tunisia are often recognized for their advanced healthcare infrastructure, medical research, and well-trained doctors. South Africa, in particular, is renowned for its high standard of medical care and modern hospitals. Egypt, with its rich history in medicine, offers a wide range of specialized healthcare services. Tunisia, on the other hand, has made significant strides in healthcare and has become a hub for medical tourism. Ultimately, the “best” medical system in Africa depends on what criteria are used to evaluate it and the specific needs of patients.
What Country in Africa Has the Most Doctors?
When it comes to the number of doctors per capita, the figures can vary widely across African countries. Egypt, with its large population, has one of the highest numbers of doctors on the continent. South Africa also has a significant number of medical professionals, and it is home to numerous medical schools and healthcare institutions. Nigeria, as the most populous country in Africa, has a large number of doctors, but the doctor-to-patient ratio remains lower than in some other African countries. The number of doctors in an African country can be influenced by factors such as population size, investment in medical education, and healthcare infrastructure.
Who Is the Best Doctor in Nigeria?
It is challenging to pinpoint a single “best” doctor in Nigeria, as the country has numerous highly skilled and accomplished medical professionals across various specialties. Nigerian doctors have made remarkable contributions to medicine, both within the country and internationally. Prominent Nigerian doctors include:
- Dr. Oluyombo Awojobi: A renowned Nigerian surgeon who founded the Awojobi Clinic in Eruwa, Oyo State, and has dedicated his career to providing healthcare services in rural areas.
- Prof. Olu Akinyanju: A hematologist who is internationally recognized for his research and contributions to the treatment of sickle cell disease.
- Dr. Adetokunbo O. Lucas: A distinguished epidemiologist and public health expert known for his work in the field of tropical diseases and health research.
Which Country Respects Doctors the Most?
Respect for doctors varies from country to country and is influenced by cultural, social, and economic factors. While there isn’t a definitive ranking of countries that respect doctors the most, some nations have strong traditions of valuing the medical profession. In African countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya, doctors are often highly regarded and respected for their expertise and dedication to patient care. These countries have a deep appreciation for the contributions of healthcare professionals and are known for their supportive communities.
Determining the African country with the best medical system or the country with the most doctors can be a complex task, as it depends on various factors, including healthcare infrastructure, the number of medical professionals, and the quality of medical services provided. Likewise, respect for doctors is a subjective matter influenced by cultural and social factors. Each African country has its strengths and challenges in the healthcare sector, and the goal should be to continue improving healthcare access and quality across the continent to ensure the well-being of all its citizens.