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Healthcare context and nursing workforce in a main city of Angola


Correspondence address: Carla A. Arena Ventura, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Av. dos Bandeirantes, 3900, Bairro Monte Alegre, CEP: 14.040-902, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil; Tel: 55-16-3602-3393; Fax: 55-16-36020518; E-mail:



Angola is one of the largest African countries with continuing levels of insecurity, considerable weakness in terms of respect for human rights, destroyed infrastructure and low transparency and social accountability levels. The health system displays gaps and nursing represents the main contingent among human resources in health.


This research aims to understand the healthcare context in Angola from the perspective of Brazilian nurses who were involved in helping their Angolan colleagues. This general view of health services is followed by a description of nursing workforce particularities at a tertiary health service in the province of Luanda.


Data were extracted from the database of the Global Network of World Health Organization Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development, constructed based on technical visits to Angola in 2009. Information related to health service characteristics was used, focusing on nursing human resource activities at two tertiary, one secondary and one primary health institutions located in the province of Luanda. The study data were analysed through descriptive statistics.


Among the problems the nursing workforce faces, the lack of human, material and financial resources stands out, as well as insufficient professional qualification, excessive work journeys, low remunerations, non-valuation of professionals, leading to unsatisfactory work environments and discouraged human resources.


Nursing in Angola is conquering its professional space. Therefore, regulatory policies are fundamental, defining the rights and obligations of all categories involved, with a view to determining nurses' function in the health team, including respect for and acknowledgement of their role in the community.