In West Africa, corruption features across sectors, including health, where it can undermine the delivery of care, exacerbate health inequities and can mean the difference between life and death.

This review sets out to understand the patterns of health-sector corruption in Anglophone West Africa by reviewing the literature on health and corruption in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. A total of 283 relevant publications were identified and retrieved, of which 61 met the inclusion criteria for detailed review.

The review describes the incentive structures identified in the literature that give rise to corruption, the impact of corruption for health workers and patients, and interventions that have successfully curbed particular behaviours. In so doing, the paper synthesises existing evidence to inform the planning, design and implementation of feasible anti-corruption strategies in the region.