Corruption in the health sector in Anglophone West Africa: Common forms of corruption and mitigation strategies

Publication type: Working Paper

Country: Nigeria

Author(s): Obinna Onwujekwe Prince Agwu Aloysius Odii Adaobi Ogbozor Charles Orjiakor Eleanor Hutchinson Chinyere Mbachu Martin McKee Dina Balabanova Hyacinth Ichoku Uche Obi

ACE Strategies: Building Coalitions

Keywords: Health


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.