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Human Resources for Primary Health Care in Africa

One of the biggest problems in primary health care in Africa is that in many countries health workers are missing to provide sufficient health care for the population.

The reasons for this are underproduction, internal mal-distribution and inappropriate task allocation, bad working conditions and brain drain. 

In the interdisciplinary project (medicine, medical anthropology, sociology) we analyze the current situation of health workers in African countries. For this purpose quantitative and qualitative, specifically participative methods, are applied. This means that all stakeholders (health workers, political authorities, NGOs, local population) are involved in the study from the very beginning. Subsequently, interventions are developed to respond to the broad diversity of situations in the African countries. After the implementation they will be evaluated. In that way, a toolkit of interventions is developed which in future is adaptable and applicable respective to local needs in a country.

In the project the Medical University of Vienna focuses particularly on the ethical implications of brain drain. We aim to formulate a strategy for Western countries to deal with the connected problems in an ethical way. In order to counteract the consequences of the brain drain amongst other things it is necessary that also in the US and in Europe enough health care workers are trained so as not to rely on human resources from other countries.

Researchers of the Medical University

The Medical University of Vienna is project partner under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Manfred Maier/Center for Public Health, Dep. of General Practice and Family Medicine.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Maier

Head of project

Center for Public Health
Dep. of General Practice and Family Medicine

Scientific Staff: Mag.a Ruth Kutalek Kathryn Hoffmann, MPH
Mag.a Elena Jirovsky 


Project coordinator: Prof. Jan De Maeseneer/Dep. of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Fac. of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium

Project partners: 9


TopicFP7-HEALTH.2010.3.4-1, Develop and assess key inter- ventions and policies to address the human resource crisis in the health sector
Project durationMarch 2011 - February 2015
Funding volume, total€ 4.124.388,20
Funding volume, Medical University of Vienna€ 241.806,40


The HURAPRIM project under the leadership of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manfred Maier aims to analyse the recent situation of 5 african countries concerning their human resources in the field of healthcare. In order to achieve this, the project uses quantitative and qualitative research methods. This means that the analysis covers a wide range of different interest groups. Fin out more about HURAPRIM, at their official website.