West African countries are ranked especially low in global corruption perception indexes. The health sector is often singled out for particular concern given the role of corruption in hampering access to, and utilization of health services, representing a major barrier to progress to universal health coverage and to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. The first step in tackling corruption systematically is to understand its scale and nature.

This paper presents a systematic review of literature that explores corruption involving front-line healthcare providers, their managers and other stakeholders in health sectors in the five Anglophone West African countries: Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, identifying motivators and drivers of corrupt practices and interventions that have been adopted or proposed.

This article was originally published in Health Policy and Planning on 4 August 2019.