Chart of the week 31?: On the quality of health service provision

Teachers are on a cold strike, as we have seen, and many don’t have the level of knowledge of their subject matter that we would like. But what about health facility workers – nurses, clinical officers and doctors?

The same World Bank Service Delivery Indicators project has collected data on this as well, in the same four countries: Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. I’ve pulled out three indicators: health worker absenteeism, adherence to clinical guidelines, and diagnostic accuracy.

So what do these charts tell us?

  • Health worker absenteeism is worst in Uganda, where nearly half (46%) of health workers were found to be not present at the time of an unannounced visit.
  • In Tanzania, absenteeism is substantially higher in urban areas (33%) than rural (17%).
  • Senegal appears to have a bigger problem that the other three countries with the quality of services provided. Only 22% of health workers were found to be following clinical guidelines, and only a third (34%) of diagnostic tests were found to be accurate.
  • In all three East African countries, health workers are more likely to follow clinical guidelines in urban areas than rural. And the accuracy of diagnostic tests was also higher in urban areas.