Africa doctor child health care UN Photo/Tobin Jones/Flickr

Inverser la fuite des cerveaux du corps médical en Afrique

OXFORD – Le projet de l'Ouganda d'envoyer près de 300 professionnels de santé à Trinidad-et-Tobago suscite une consternation bien compréhensible. Le plan est censé compter quatre psychiatres sur les 11 recensés en Ouganda, 20 radiologues sur 28 et 15 pédiatres sur les 92 de ce pays. En retour, le pays des Caraïbes (qui a un rapport médecin-patient 12 fois plus élevé que l'Ouganda) va aider l'Ouganda à exploiter ses gisements de pétrole découverts récemment.

Le ministère des Affaires étrangères de l'Ouganda dit que cet accord fait partie de son mandat visant à promouvoir les intérêts du pays à l'étranger par le transfert de compétences et de technologies, ainsi que la possibilité de gagner des devises étrangères en procurant de l'emploi à ses citoyens. Mais les bailleurs de fonds internationaux de l'Ouganda ne sont pas convaincus. Les États-Unis ont exprimé une forte inquiétude et la Belgique a suspendu l'aide au développement au secteur des services de santé de l'Ouganda.

Deux de mes amis, un gynécologue et un pédiatre, ont adressé leur demande de départ. Si je travaillais encore avec eux en Ouganda, j'aurais pu être tenté de me joindre à cet exode. Les professionnels de soins de santé de l'Ouganda sont doués et hautement qualifiés. Mais ils travaillent souvent dans des conditions épouvantables au prix de grands sacrifices personnels. Il n'est donc pas surprenant qu'ils se découragent et cherchent des opportunités professionnelles ailleurs. Ils savent que le statu quo est un échec et que quelque chose doit changer.

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