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  • Prof Rotimi Jaiyesimi

IMPACT OF CORRUPTION IN THE HEALTH SECTOR


The impact of corruption on health in general is relatively well documented. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that corruption undermines the cost, volume and quality of public service delivery, undermining the access and quality of patient care. Diverted resources reduce the level of resources and investments available for the public health system on which most vulnerable populations are more reliant on. Resources drained from health budget through embezzlement, fraud and corruption reduce the funding available for salaries, health services and maintenance, contributing to lower staff motivation, quality of care and declining service availability and use.

Corruption delays and reduces the vaccination of new-borns, discourages the use of public health clinics, increases waiting times at health clinics and reduces satisfaction of households with public health services. A 10% increase in corruption reduces immunisation rates by 10 to 20 %. Reducing corruption can result in significant social gains as measured by decreases in child and infant mortality rates, as well as percent of low-birth weight babies.

SPECIFIC IMPACT OF CORRUPTION IN DRUG MANAGEMENT There is a broad consensus and much anecdotal evidence that corruption in drug management affects the availability and quality of medicines, with a direct effect on patient care and long term impact on health outcomes, especially in developing countries affected by the AIDS pandemic. There is also linkage between corruption in the supply chain of medicine and health outcomes. – www.U4.no

The government in its fight against corruption must scrutinise the health sector and other sectors that have not so far drawn much attention.

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