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Key sources of data on health workforce

How can you navigate and find data within the Global Health Observatory data repository? This article provides a step-by-step guide.
Three female doctors stand around a table at a clinic preparing injections
© Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne

In the video in the previous step we looked at some interactive maps from the WHO’s Global Health Observatory (linked below), an excellent resource for obtaining country data on health systems, and visualising it for ease of analysis. In this step, we would like you to use this resource for your own analysis.

Please visit the WHO Global Health Observatory data repository.

On this page you will find links (under “In this section”) to tables of data on the health workforce in each country, organised by type of health professional. You can scroll down the table to find the country you’re interested in, or select the country using the ‘filter table’ option.

Look up your country or the setting in which you work, and unless there are serious data deficiencies (the analysis is reliant on data supplied by each country, which for some countries may be out of date, unreliable or missing), you should be able to find out the densities per thousand population for physicians, nursing, and midwifery personnel, dentistry personnel, and pharmaceutical personnel. You should also be able to see the trend over time, and check whether the country has been able to make progress in terms of numbers of these front-line health worker cadres. And you might be able to find out about other cadres too, like lab workers or community and traditional health workers.

Does anything in the data about your country surprise you? How does the structure of your health workforce reflect (and shape) health systems strengthening strategies in your context?

© Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne
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