Namibia: eager for its own doctors
In February, Namibia&s New Age newspaper wrote about Health Minister Richard Kamwi&s excitement at the arrival of a small group of medical students to begin internship posts. The health ministry says this year&s intake of 15 Namibian internists, enrolled alongside South Africans and Zimbabweans, is the largest cohort yet to return from studying abroad, and has bolstered the country&s drive to repopulate its health system with its own doctors. “My dream is for the Namibian medical professionals to own the public health sector,” Kamwi said, welcoming the trainees.
Kamwi&s vision contrasts sharply with the current employment picture. Namibia&s health ministry says less than a third of doctors working in the public sector are Namibian nationals; the rest are mainly from other countries in Africa and from Cuba. In this, Namibia is in a similar position to many rich countries. A 2005 study found that foreign educated health professionals make up