Task shifting and task sharing in the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence, success indicators, challenges, and opportunities

Pan Afr Med J. 2023 Sep 11:46:11. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2023.46.11.40984. eCollection 2023.


This review explores task shifting and task sharing in sub-Saharan African healthcare to address workforce shortages and cost-effectiveness. Task shifting allocates tasks logically, while task sharing involves more workers taking on specific duties. Challenges include supply chain issues, pay inadequacy, and weak supervision. Guidelines and success measures are lacking. Initiating these practices requires evaluating factors and ensuring sustainability. Task shifting saves costs but needs training and support. Task sharing boosts efficiency, enabling skilled clinicians to contribute effectively. To advance task shifting and sharing in the region, further research is needed to scale up effective initiatives. Clear success indicators, monitoring, evaluation, and learning plans, along with exploration of sustainability and appropriateness dimensions, are crucial elements to consider.

Keywords: Task shifting; challenges; evidence; health systems; opportunities; sub-Saharan Africa; task sharing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Delivery of Health Care* / methods
  • Humans
  • Workforce