Health & Medical Sciences

Career Cluster

Health and Medical Sciences is a cluster of professionals who promote health, wellness and diagnosis, nutrition, medicine, patient care, disease, technology, and health-related issues and outcomes. Health and medical science professionals can work in both research and practical capacities. They can become physician or physician assistants, nurses or nursing assistants and other careers such as biotechnology researchers, surgical assistants, technicians etc.

Healthcare focuses on the wellbeing and the quality of life of people. It does this by considering all the factors that may impact these outcomes in a society or an environment. Medical sciences focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury. Medical science professionals are key players in the healthcare sector—it remains one of the largest and fastest-growing globally.

Health and Medical Sciences are a group of professions that promote health and wellness and disease diagnosis. 

It also involves nutrition, medicine, patient care, disease, technology, and health-related issues and outcomes. Healthcare professionals can work in both research and practical capacities. For example, they can become physicians or physician assistants, nurses or nursing assistants. In addition, they can have careers such as biotechnology researchers, surgical assistants, technicians etc.

Healthcare and medical sciences focus on people’s well-being and quality of life. It focuses on all the factors that may impact these outcomes in a society or an environment. Medical sciences diagnose, treat, and prevent disease, illness, and injury. As a result, medical science professionals are key players in the healthcare sector—it remains one of the largest and fastest-growing globally.

The healthcare industry, globally,  is one of the biggest industries. It caters to the medical needs of billions of people worldwide. In 2018, this sector was worth $8.45 trillion, with an annual growth rate of 7.3% since 2014.

According to Policy Advice, research shows that the healthcare sector will reach $10.059 trillion by 2022. Its growth has been consistent, and its future looks promising, with the IoT all set to revolutionise healthcare. The global healthcare industry will continue to grow due to ageing and growing populations and higher rates of chronic health conditions. In addition, exponential but costly advances in digital technologies will continue to push expenditures upward.

The US has the most significant healthcare spending, sitting at $10,224 per capita. The US’s healthcare consumption expenditure per capita is $10,224, and Switzerland and Germany spend $8,009 and $5,728 per capita, respectively. Other top spenders on health are Sweden ($5,511) and Austria ($5,440).

The Government of Ghana is expanding access to healthcare coverage and the scope of benefits it makes available to its citizens. Ghana’s 2021 census results report that 68.6% of the population is covered by either the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) or private health insurance schemes. Females have a higher rate of health insurance coverage (72.6%) than males (64.5%). Health insurance coverage ranges from a low of 51.9% in the Oti Region to a high of 86.2 % in the Upper East Region. 

Ghana has moved away from a pay-as-you-go system, where individual health expenditures were paid in cash before treatment and covered entirely by patients. Instead, the National Health Insurance Scheme now provides broad coverage for a limited scope of health issues, primarily ensuring treatment against the most prevalent diseases, such as malaria. Ghana spends, on average, about six per cent of its GDP on healthcare infrastructure. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant gaps in the health sector, including the need to construct more district-level hospitals.

Kenya spent about $78 per capita on health, according to the National Health Accounts in 2015. This is below the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended rate of $86 per capita.

The Kenyan government allocated Sh146.8bn to the healthcare sector—Sh62.3 billion of which will cover the Universal Health Coverage(UHC) in 2022/2023. This is a 6% decrease from 6% (2021/22) to 4.4% of the budget. The government has prioritised Universal health coverage (UHC). However, out-of-pocket spending remains around twice the recommended level (26.1% against the 12-15% target under UHC). 

Kenya performs well compared with other east African countries in all health worker cadres. However, the lack of adequate resources in the health sector hinders scaling up integrated approaches to maternal, newborn and child survival, health and nutrition at the community level. The country has more nurses and midwives compared to the number of physicians, which is crucial in community health. This is due to the devolution of health functions, which faced challenges in 2013/14.

Nigeria is lagging behind its African neighbours in terms of expenditure and access to health care. For example, according to the World Bank, Nigeria’s healthcare spending amounts to just 3.89% of its $495 billion GDP (gross domestic product). It is poor compared to 8.25% in South Africa and 5.17% in Kenya. 

The healthcare market in Nigeria was estimated at over $15 billion in 2018. Increased demand for healthcare services is expected over the next five years to reach $18 billion in 2023. In 2018, Nigerians spent over $1 billion on medical tourism to various destinations, but mainly in India.

A report by Fitch Solutions predicted that healthcare expenditure in Nigeria would reach NGN 5,762.061 billion by 2021, rising by 8.35% up from an estimated NGN 5,318.061 billion in 2020. The report estimates a 2.94% GDP increase in healthcare spending by 2021. The government is expected to spend NGN 1,477.77 billion by 2021. The private sector will spend NGN 4,284.469 billion in the same period. It is up from NGN 1,190.71 billion and NGN 3,709.120 billion, respectively, in 2019.

South Africa
South Africa has one of the most active healthcare systems in the world, with both public and quickly expanding private systems. According to RH Borphelo, 80% of the population currently receives healthcare from the public sector, which also pays for about 48% of all healthcare expenses. However, the private sector provides healthcare for 20% of the population and is responsible for around 50% of all healthcare spending, with non-governmental organisations providing the remaining 2%. 

According to a Switzerland Global  Enterprise report, South Africa has 203 commercial and 422 state hospitals. The healthcare market is anticipated to reach US$37 billion by 2022 and US$47.1 billion by 2027. Also, the medical device market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.97 per cent from 2018 to 2024.

The modern health care industry consists of many areas. Interdisciplinary teams of trained professionals and paraprofessionals work together to meet people’s healthcare needs.

The career pathways in the field include the following:

  • Biotechnology
  • Diagnostic Service
  • Health Informatics
  • Hospital/Healthcare Administration
  • Public Health
  • Therapeutic Service
  • Support Service
  • Biotechnology

What They Do

Occupations involved in bioscience research and development as it applies to human health. Workers study diseases to discover new treatments. They also invent medical devices used to assist patients or to improve the accuracy of diagnostic tests.

Is it for Me?

Consider careers in the Biotechnology Research and Development pathway if you would like to:

  • Investigate relationships between humans and disease 
  • Work to improve the testing of illness; including genetic testing
  • Evaluate medication strength and purity
  • Build and maintain databases of clinical results
  • Analyse and report on health data
  • Invent medical devices that help patients live longer, safer and higher-quality lives.


  • Epidemiologists: investigate the causes of health problems in communities or societies.
  • Medical Scientists: conduct research to better understand human health and disease.
  • Biostatisticians: analyse data and statistics on living things collected during medical research studies to draw conclusions or make predictions. 
  • Pharmacologists: investigate how drugs interact with biological systems.
  • Research assistants: assist with medical research.
  • Toxicologist: study the safety and biological effects of drugs, chemicals, agents, and other substances on living organisms.
  • Biomedical engineer: they focus on advances in technology and medicine to develop new devices and equipment for improving human health.
  • Forensic science technician: handles and analyses evidence from crime scenes for police departments.
  • Cytotechnologist: laboratory professionals who study cells and cellular anomalies.
  • Technical writers: a professional writer that communications complex information for health journals or magazines.

Training, degrees, and certification  in the following fields are relevant for pursuing a career in Biotechnology:

  • Animal Sciences
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
  • Biology, General
  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health/Medical Preparatory Programs
  • Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Physics
  • Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences
  • Public Health
  • Veterinary Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
  • Zoology/Animal Biology

What They Do:

Occupations here are involved in the tests and evaluations; used in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries or other physical conditions.

Is it for Me?

Consider a career in the Diagnostic Services pathway if you:

  • can work with medical equipment and technologies such as MRI, x-ray, and ultrasound machines.
  • have hands-on analytical skills which may involve analysing laboratory results.
  • comfortable with blood and syringes.
  • can communicate technical concepts to people such as explaining diagnostic procedures to patients.


  • Cytogenetic Technologists: analyse chromosomes to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases.
  • Cytotechnologists: study cells to detect evidence of pathological conditions.
  • Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians: conduct tests on the hearts and lungs.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers: use sound waves to perform diagnostic imaging exams on patients.
  • Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians: prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologists: monitor patients and operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.
  • Medical Laboratory Technicians: perform routine medical laboratory tests to diagnose diseases.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologists: perform laboratory tests on blood or tissue samples to diagnose health problems.
  • Neurodiagnostic Technologists: use specialised equipment to monitor how well the nervous system is functioning.
  • Pathologists: diagnose diseases using laboratory techniques.
  • Phlebotomists: Draw blood for tests, transfusions, or donations.
  • Radiologic Technicians: Assist radiologists and radiologic technologists with various tasks.
  • Radiologic Technologists: Perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and CAT scans.

Training, degrees, and certification  in the following fields are relevant for pursuing a career in Diagnostic Services:

  • Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science/Research and Allied Professions
  • Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences
  • Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians
  • Veterinary Biomedical and Clinical Sciences

What They Do
Workers here are involved in managing health care agencies, patient data and information, financial information, and computer applications related to health care processes and procedures. Workers usually have limited interaction with patients.

Is it For Me?
Consider careers in the Health Informatics pathway if you:

  • Enjoy working on teams. 
  • Have good communication skills: health informatics roles often require the ability to communicate complex information clearly and accurately.
  • Like to Solving Problems: Challenges often involve sharing of data or improving crucial IT processes.
  • Have good Analytical skills: Vast volumes of data have to be processed and analysed daily.
  • Are adaptable and enjoy learning—technology and processes evolve, it is crucial to keep abreast.


  • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: Organise and manage medical data in both paper and electronic systems.
  • Medical record technicians: Perform tasks that support healthcare organisations and patients by working with patient records.
  • Medical assistants: work complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.
  • Software developers: Develop software applications or systems that facilitate healthcare services and provide new ways to perform medical treatments using the latest technologies.
  • Schedulers: They are responsible for making patient appointments. They may perform other tasks as well: gathering patient information, handling insurance documentation etc. 
  • Medical transcriptionists: Also called healthcare documentation specialists. They listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and convert them into written reports. They also may review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology.

You require at least a Bachelor’s Degree to work in this field. You might need a second or advanced degree to specialise.

A degree or advanced degree in the following disciplines is required:
Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
Medical Illustration and Informatics, Computer Science.

What They Do
The Hospital and healthcare administration pathway involves the organisation and delivery of health care systems. The focus of this pathway is understanding regulatory, technical, and fiscal considerations. These allow the proper delivery of health care services. It is suitable for people seeking careers in hospital administration, nursing home management or operation of professional practice. Students interested in senior leadership opportunities in this field should consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well.

Is it for Me?
Consider careers in the Hospital/Healthcare Administration pathway if you:

  • Enjoy Management: Like to Manage operations, budgets, staffing issues and much more. 
  • Like to work on a team to make crucial decisions.
  • Enjoy finding creative solutions to problems and have a general willingness to think outside the box.
  • Lead those looking for guidance, and motivate and inspire the team to do more for the patient, the system and each other.


  • University professor: Teach students at the tertiary level
  • Healthcare administrator: Health administrators direct the operation of hospitals, health systems and organisations.
  • Health-related facilities manager: Facilities managers take care of the day-to-day maintenance, upgrades, and management of health facilities.
  • Nursing home administrator: Nursing home administrators supervise, plan, develop, monitor and maintain appropriate care standards throughout all departments in a nursing home.
  • Personnel manager: A personnel manager is a manager responsible for administrative works such as recruitment, job analysis, job evaluation, managing wages and salaries, training administration, resolving disputes, labour law compliance and related tasks.

You require at least a Bachelor’s Degree to work in this field. You might need a second or advanced degree to specialise.

A degree or advanced degree in the following disciplines is required: Healthcare Administration, Health Information Management, Nursing, Public Health Administration, Business Administration.

What They Do
Public health is concerned with protecting and improving community health rather than that of the individual. Municipal, county, and state health departments employ public health workers to inspect environments and food-related industries to ensure healthful produce, meat, milk, and other consumables. 

Other titles for this course include public health laboratory science, public health nursing, and community health.

Is it for Me?
Consider careers in the Public Health pathway if you:

  • Have Excellent communication skills
  • Are proactive and want to take a proactive approach to public health problems. 
  • Have an ability to analyse situations and respond to them appropriately.
  • Have good problem-solving skills.
  • Are open to constantly learning the latest developments in public health.
  • Enjoy working on multidisciplinary teams. Researching and strategising to improve public health.


  • Counsellor: A community health counsellor typically provides health and welfare support to the disadvantaged members of a community.
  • Community organiser: Community organisers are responsible for building a group of people or institutions to work towards a common goal through collective action.
  • Food/drug inspector: Food and drug inspectors, also known as quality control inspectors, work to ensure that products are safe for human consumption.
  • Lawyer: Healthcare attorneys deal with the regulations and practices of healthcare institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Public health educator: Public health educators are responsible for teaching people about behaviours that promote wellness.
  • Public health officer: Public health officers focus on the overall health of communities instead of treating individual patients.
  • Social worker: Social Workers protect vulnerable children and support families in need of assistance. Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.

You require at least a Bachelor’s Degree to work in this field. You might need a second or advanced degree to specialise. Some careers require you to write a national certification exam to obtain licence practice. 

A degree or advanced degree in the following disciplines is required:




Environmental health


Human physiology

Healthcare Management

Nutrition and Dietetics

Public Health

What They Do:
Occupations in therapeutic services are focused primarily on changing the health status of patients over time. They do this through direct care, treatment, counselling, or health education information. 

Is it for Me?
Consider careers in the Therapeutic Services pathway if you:

  • Have excellent communication skills: It is crucial to explain to patients and their loved ones about procedures, diagnosis, prognosis etc., in clear terms. You would also have to communicate with other members of your team.
  • Can think critically and creatively: Patient management will require to make judgements under pressure sometimes.
  • Work well with other people: careers in therapeutic services usually involve multidisciplinary teams.
  • Can be professional: You will be in close contact with patients; you must remain professional while being empathic. 
  • Are self-aware and emotionally intelligent.
  • Procedures change, technology evolves; a career in this field means you have to be flexible and constantly learn new ways to improve healthcare.


  • Acupuncturists: Treat symptoms of disease with needles.
  • Allergists and Immunologists: Diagnose, treat, and prevent allergies.
  • Anesthesiologists: Administer anaesthesia during surgery or other procedures.
  • Chiropractors: Treat patients with diseases of the musculoskeletal system consisting of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Dentists: Diagnose and treat problems with teeth or gums.
  • Dermatologists: Diagnose and treat skin conditions.
  • Family and General Practitioners: Work directly with patients to prevent or treat health problems common in the general population.
  • Internists: Diagnose and treat diseases and injuries of internal organs.
  • Licensed Practical Nurses: Provide nursing care under the direction of doctors and registered nurses.
  • Midwives: Provide care to pregnant women and assist during childbirth.
  • Naturopathic Physicians: Use a system of health care based on the natural healing power of a patient.
  • Neurologists: Diagnose and treat diseases and conditions of the nervous system.
  • Nuclear Medicine Physicians: Diagnose and treat diseases using radioactive materials.
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists: Use a scanner to create images of the body of a patient.
  • Nurse Anesthetists: Administer anaesthesia, monitor the vital signs, and oversee their recovery after surgery.
  • Nurse-Midwives: Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birth process.
  • Nurse Practitioners: Diagnose and treat illness, either independently or as part of a health care team.
  • Nursing Assistants: Provide patient care under the direction of a nurse.
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Provide medical care during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Ophthalmic Medical Technicians: Assist in administering eye exams, medications, and patient care.
  • Ophthalmic Medical Technologists: Assist ophthalmologists with clinical tasks.
  • Ophthalmologists: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of the eye.
  • Optometrists: Treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Perform surgery on hard and soft tissues of the jaw or face.
  • Orthodontists: Work to correct misalignment of teeth.
  • Orthoptists: Diagnose and treat visual system disorders.
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists: They fit patients for medical support devices such as artificial limbs.
  • Paediatricians: Diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in children.
  • Pharmacists: Dispense prescription medication and advise patients on how to use them safely.
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians: Diagnose and treat health problems that require physical or mental rehabilitation.
  • Physical Therapist Assistants: Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.
  • Physical Therapists: Help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement or manage their pain.
  • Physician Assistants: Practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor.
  • Podiatrists: Diagnose and treat problems with the human foot.
  • Preventive Medicine Physicians: Work to prevent disease, either for individuals or communities.
  • Prosthodontists: A dentist who replaces missing teeth or other oral structures
  • Psychiatric Technicians: Care for people with mental or emotional conditions under the direction of physicians.
  • Psychiatrists: Diagnose and treat mental disorders.
  • Radiation Therapists: Treat cancer and other diseases by giving people radiation treatment.
  • Radiologic Technicians: Assist radiologists and radiologic technologists with various tasks.
  • Radiologic Technologists: Perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and CAT scans.
  • Recreational Therapists: Provide treatment and recreational activities for people with disabilities or illnesses.
  • Registered Nurses: Provide and coordinate patient care, and educate and support patients and families.
  • Respiratory Therapists: Care for patients with breathing problems.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technicians: Provide respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists: Assess and treat people with speech or language problems.
  • Sports Medicine Physicians: Diagnose and treat injuries that have occurred during physical activity.
  • Surgeons: Treat diseases and injuries through surgical procedures.
  • Surgical Assistants: Assist surgeons during surgery.
  • Surgical Technologists: Prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors and nurses during surgery.
  • Urologists: Treat or prevent disorders of the genito-urinary system and renal glands.

You require at least a Bachelor’s Degree to work in this field. You might need a second or advanced degree to specialise. Some careers, such as Medicine, Dentistry—require you to write a national certification exam to obtain licence practice. 

A degree or advanced degree (with a licence) in the following disciplines is required:

Advanced/Graduate Dentistry and Oral Sciences

Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions

Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems


Dental Residency Programs

Dental Support Services and Allied Professions


Energy and Biologically Based Therapies

Health and Physical Education/Fitness

Massage Therapy and Other Related Therapeutic Services

Medical Clinical Sciences/Graduate Medical Studies

Medical Residency Programs – General Certificates

Medical Residency Programs – Subspecialty Certificates



Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy

Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration

Podiatric Medicine Residency Programs

Podiatric Medicine/Podiatry

Practical Nursing, Vocational Nursing and Nursing Assistants

Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research And Clinical Nursing

Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions

Veterinary Biomedical and Clinical Sciences

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Residency Programs

What They Do:
These are occupations that interact with patients or the public to provide a therapeutic environment for healthcare delivery. Supportive Services offer a full range of career opportunities from entry-level to management and consist of technical and business/professional careers. 

Support services employees work behind the scenes to ensure other health care professionals can accomplish their duties.

The education requirements for careers in support services can range depending on the position. Also, many employers offer on-the-job training to individuals interested in starting a career in support services.

Is it for Me?
Consider careers in the Support Services pathway if you:

  • Are self-aware and professional. A lot of work will involve guiding patients and their families through their healthcare journey.
  • Work well on teams: Healthcare, in general, involves working in teams.
  • Are good at Planning and Organisation.
  • Have good communication skills: Your work might involve; educating the community on important health topics


  • Athletic Trainers: Work to help people avoid or recover from sports-related injuries.
  • Audiologists: Assess and treat patients with hearing and related problems.
  • Biomedical Engineers: Solve problems related to biological and health systems.
  • Dental Assistants: Set up dental equipment, prepare patients, and keep records.
  • Dental Hygienists: Clean teeth, examine patients for dental problems and provide other preventive dental care.
  • Dietetic Technicians: Help to provide food service and nutritional programmes under the supervision of a dietitian.
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists: Advise people on what to eat to lead a healthy lifestyle or reach a specific health goal.
  • Dispensing Opticians: Work with patients to fit eyeglasses and contacts.
  • Endoscopy Technicians: Assist physicians and nurses who are performing endoscopies.
  • Exercise Physiologists: Design fitness programs to improve a variety of aspects of the health of a patient.
  • Genetic Counselors: Assess risk for inherited conditions or diseases.
  • Hearing Aid Specialists: Work with patients who use hearing aids.
  • Home Health Aides: Provide routine health care, such as bathing or dressing, to patients in their homes.
  • Hospitalists: Provide care to patients in hospitals.
  • Medical Assistants: Handle administrative and clinical tasks in health care settings.
  • Medical Equipment Preparers: Prepare or clean laboratory or other health care equipment.
  • Medical Secretaries: Perform secretarial tasks in hospitals, clinics, or laboratories.
  • Medical Transcriptionists: Transcribe medical reports written by doctors or other health care providers.
  • Medical and Health Services Managers: Manage or coordinate medical services in hospitals or clinics.
  • Occupational Therapists: Instruct patients on practices and equipment that can make daily living and work easy.
  • Occupational Therapy Aides: Perform occupational therapy tasks under the direction of an occupational therapy assistant.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants: Help patients recover the skills they need for daily working or living.
  • Orderlies: Move patients between areas in hospitals.
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists: They fit patients for medical support devices such as artificial limbs.
  • Pharmacy Aides: Perform duties in a pharmacy.
  • Pharmacy Technicians: Assist pharmacists in dispensing medications to patients.
  • Physical Therapist Aides: Perform routine tasks related to physical therapy treatment.
  • Psychiatric Aides: Help mentally or emotionally impaired patients.
  • Speech-Language Pathology Assistants: Assist speech-language pathologists.
  • Maintenance or electrical engineers: Maintenance engineers ensure that medical machinery and equipment runs smoothly and reliably.
  • Cooks and servers: Cooks and servers make food for patients and staff in a healthcare facility.
  • Patient representatives: A patient representative helps patients get the services they need—helping them make more informed healthcare decisions.


You require at least a Bachelor’s Degree to work in this field. You might need a second or advanced degree to specialise. Some careers require you to write a national certification exam to obtain licence practice. 

A degree or advanced degree in the following disciplines is required:

Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Alternative and Complementary Medical Support Services, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Biopsychology, Cognitive Science, Communication Disorders Sciences and Services, Communication and Media Studies, Community Organization and Advocacy, Criminal Justice and Corrections, Culinary Arts and Related Services, Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services, Electrical Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Electromechanical Instrumentation and Maintenance Technologies/Technicians, Food Science and Technology, Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services, Funeral Service and Mortuary Science, Gerontology, Health Aides/Attendants/Orderlies, Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General, Health and Medical Administrative Services, Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services, Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions, Movement and Mind-Body Therapies and Education, Nutrition Sciences, Ophthalmic and Optometric Support Services and Allied Professions, Psychology, General, Public Health, Religion/Religious Studies, Social Work, Special Education and Teaching, Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Teaching Assistants/Aides

These include: 

National Health Systems Management

  • Health research policy and mechanism for evidence-based policymaking in health
  • Human resource development and management to address the absence and poor capacity of healthcare workers and identify inefficiencies, wastage and fraud
  • Improving the managerial capacity and motivation of health care workers
  • Setting health research agenda and priorities.
  • Ethical standards and practice codes for health research
  • Impact of ICT on health services
  • Sharing research results among researchers, policymakers and development practitioners
  • National health interventions to address the relevance, efficiencies, effectiveness, adequateness and impact of national health intervention programmes
  • Inter-sectorial collaboration
  • Health insurance schemes

Health Systems and operational

  • Bio-informatics: develop a comprehensive repository for health research at all levels (including both public and non-public sectors)
  • Getting research findings into strategies and practices
  • Health research communication strategies – creating a framework for sharing research knowledge and its application.
  • Quality assurance and quality monitoring for health products
  • Efficacy of locally available and affordable health technologies that may save lives of millions of people
  • Promoting basic research methods

Priority Diseases and Health Problems

  • Infectious diseases; chronic conditions; epidemiological/transitional diseases
  • Epidemiological research to identify the significant health problems, their pattern of distribution and determinants in different parts of the country and various segments: orphan diseases, orthopaedics, prosthetics,
  • Maternal and child health care

Product Development Research (Pharmaceutical, biological and diagnostics, therapeutics and educational products)

  • Developing new and improved tools for the prevention, treatment and control of diseases of local importance
  • Value addition to herbal medicinal resources and traditional knowledge
  • Research into traditional medicinal practices and products
  • Application of biotechnologies in the development of molecular diagnostics, recombinant vaccines, vaccine and drug delivery, bio-remediation, sequencing pathogen, genomes, female-controlled led protection against sexually transmitted infections, bio-informatics, nutritionally enriched genetically modified crops, recombinant, therapeutic proteins and combinatorial chemistry
  • Application of nanotechnologies in health – diagnostic tools, drug and vaccine delivery, surgical devices, prosthetics, methods of diagnosis and prevention; more effective treatment with existing drugs, detection of pathogens such as mycobacterium and HIV

Social and Behavioural Research

  • Research on socio-cultural and environmental factors affecting health: to identify determinants of gender issues, domestic violence, conflict, migration/displaced people, poverty alleviation, social security system for the under-privileged and people living with disabilities
  • Monitoring the impact and efficacy of information, education and communication (IEC) materials.

Inaccessibility of quality health care
Most Nigerians live in poverty and primarily have to pay for health care services. Free health care services are poorly implemented, do not become fully operational, and sometimes only last a few years. Digital health innovation can reduce healthcare costs and expand access to quality healthcare.

Insufficient Financial Investment
Government spending on healthcare is poor compared to other African countries. Private sector spending is also not enough for the massive population requiring quality healthcare. National Health Scheme (NHS) through the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) have not been able to solve the problem, especially regarding public access. Health insurance, especially digital health insurance, is where innovation can occur. 

Poor Health Infrastructure
The Nigerian healthcare sector suffers from poor infrastructure. Loss of lives is a common consequence of these. As a result, healthtech startups are innovating around this. For example, LifeBank, a healthcare technology and logistics company, facilitate blood transmission from labs across the country to patients and doctors in hospitals. More innovation, especially those utilising digital tools, can help circumvent this problem. At the same time, the government can increase its spending on healthcare and create policies to support healthcare.

Infant and Maternal Death
Nigeria consists 2.4 per cent of the world’s population. However, it currently contributes to 10% of global deaths for pregnant mothers. The latest figures from UNICEF show a maternal mortality rate of 576 per 100,000 live births, the fourth-highest on Earth. Approximately 262,000 babies die at birth, the global second-highest national total. Infant mortality currently stands at 69 per 1,000 live births, while for under-fives, it rises to 128 per 1,000 live births. 

It is an area for innovation as most of the deaths are preventable. For example, Agnes a feature phone app that provides antenatal education and 24-hour access to pregnant women and mothers. This access to professional healthcare workers, education, and specialised telemedicine reduce infant and maternal deaths.

Lack of sufficient health personnel
There is a significant brain drain in the healthcare sector. As a result, more and more people have less access to quality healthcare.

Innovation around this has been using telemedicine to access healthcare. More innovation should happen to circumvent this.

Data Collection 
The dearth of standardised data is a significant problem in Nigerian healthcare. As a result, the government can not make sound policies. Accurate Medical histories are hard to get, especially in emergencies, leading to the wrong diagnosis or treatment. There needs to be innovation around data collection and fragmentation.

Fake Drugs
Fake drugs are a serious global problem. In developing countries like Nigeria, it is life-threatening. However, the government has put up systems to solve this. It remains a problem. Some Healthtech startups like Medsaf have taken on this challenge. It is a platform that aggregates trustworthy international and local drug manufacturers and hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in Nigeria. More innovation needs to ensure that Over-the-counter drugs are safe for average Nigerians.

Digitisation in healthcare and medical sciences include: 

  • Simulation in laboratories with mannequins and multimedia with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for training practitioners and educating patients. 
  • Robotic surgery assists surgeons in performing complex procedures with more accuracy, precision and flexibility. It happens with minimally invasive surgery and sometimes with open surgical procedures. 
  • Telemedicine delivers healthcare services over a network without both practitioner and patient in the same place; this can happen in real-time (synchronous), store and forward (asynchronous), and remote monitoring.
  • Health trackers/wearables monitor the health condition of patients remotely. They can advise on lifestyle adjustments and give alerts in moments of emergency. These can also be the domain of mobile health (mHealth).
  • Healthcare/Medical/Biomedical informatics apply computation techniques and innovation to improving health and medical outcomes.
  • eHealth applications such as electronic patient records to patient-reported outcomes in mobile apps; are increasingly used in healthcare.
  • Chatbots provide the first point of contact to patients in collecting and analysing symptoms, infer possible issues and make recommendations on further actions.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning generate and analyse patient, clinician and health system data. They assist practitioners; to predict, prevent, screen and even diagnose diseases. They improve in areas such as medical image analysis and screenings.
  • Point-of-Care Medical Resources: these include medical and patient information, drug monographs, and medical calculators. These assist practitioners make evidence-based decisions to improve patient outcomes.
  • 3D Printing: the precise printing of tissues, organoids, prosthetics and surgical instruments.

The highest-paying jobs in this career cluster are:

  1. Anesthesiologist
  2. Surgeon
  3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  4. Family and general practitioner
  5. Obstetricians and gynaecologist
  6. Dentists
  7.  Podiatrists
  8. Pharmacists
  9. Nurse anaesthetists, midwives and practitioners
  10. Optometrists
  11. Veterinarian

Some of the essential technical skills for health and medical science professionals which vary across specialisations are:

  • Taking/reading/interpreting vital signs
  • Recommendations on Over The Counter prescriptions
  • Inserting Intravenous and catheters
  • Drawing blood
  • Reading medical/health records, electrocardiograms (EKGs), X-rays and MRIs.
  • Clinical Knowledge.

These include:

  • Critical thinking: decisions on patients can be the difference between life, death, recovery or permanent damage. Therefore, decisions must be thorough for the best possible outcome.
  • Communication & persuasion: This profession requires people that can communicate with empathy. People that can persuade patients to follow through on the best possible decisions. Professionals discuss the results of diagnosis and treatment options with patients and give public health lectures to the community. 
  • Continual learning & adaptation: healthcare and medical professionals must stay abreast of new developments and adjust to changes within their work environment or location change. 
  • Professionalism: Caregivers must maintain the right relationship with patients while also keeping boundaries and ensure data management and information with confidentiality. 
  • Self-awareness & management: the work environment can be intense, succumbing to pressure can be consequential. Therefore, healthcare and medical professionals must maintain the right attitude at all times. They must be skilled in managing time, resources and the stress levels of themselves and colleagues.


World Medical Association, World Dental Federation, International Council of Nurses, World Physiotherapy, International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science, World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Health Administrators, Christian Health Association of Ghana 

Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute, Kenya Medical Association, Kenya Healthcare Federation, Kenya Healthcare Professional Association, Kenya Association of Health Administrators, Nursing Council of Kenya.

Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Nigeria Medical Association, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB), Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Nigerian Dental Association, Nigerian Association of Occupational Therapists, Nigerian Society of Physiotherapy, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, Nigerian Speech and Hearing Association, Nigerian Association of Occupational Therapists.

South Africa
Alliance of South Africa Independent Practitioners Association (ASAIPA), South African Medical Association (SAMA), Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa, Institute of Health Risk Managers (IHRM), South African Dental Association, South African Optometric Association (SAOA), Association of Clinical Research Professionals – South Africa (ACRP), Association of Surgeons of South Africa (ASSA), Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA)

Sarah Zagbaki, Mbi Epse Ojong Alice Enekegbe, Irene Agyepong, Joshua Appiah, Beatrice Amposah, Daniel Adjei Boakye

Mike Mutungi, Wala Amakove, Wawira Njiru, Walter Otieno, Jenta Nabwire, Nasibo Sarbo, Linet Kwamboka


South Africa
Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, Dr. Ncumisa Jilata, Dr. Gloria Tshukudu, Dr. Lindiwe Sidali, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, Greg van Wyk, Dr. Jean-Paul Abner, Dr. Ajmal Ikram, Prof Adrian Puren, Dineo Lioma.

Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Health Administrators, Christian Health Association of Ghana, National Health Insurance Authority, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Medical and Dental Council  

Ministry of Health

Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Nigeria Medical Association, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB), Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Nigerian Dental Association, Nigerian Association of Occupational Therapists, Nigerian Society of Physiotherapy, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, Nigerian Speech and Hearing Association, Nigerian Association of Occupational Therapists.

South Africa
The National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD), Health Professions Council of South Africa, South African Pharmacy Council, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Council for Medical Schemes, Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA), South African Medical Research Council.

Nyaho Medical Centre, Lister Hospital, Sycamore Hospital, TrustCare, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Akai House Clinic, Sweden Ghana Medical Centre, 37 Military Hospital, Asafo Boakye Specialist, UQ Specialist Medical Services, Trust Hospital, Sanford Health, GPHA Clinic, County Hospital, Imperial Health, A1 Hospital, New Crystal Health Services, EuraCare Hospital, Ruma Fertility Centre, C&J Medicare and Diagnostic Centre, Medifem Hospital, Madamfo Hospital, Holy Trinity Hospital, Aniwaa Hospital, Asbury Hospital, Afari Hospital, Wara Clinic

Cigma, Private, Philips, GE Healthcare, CVS Health, Labcorp, NHS, United Health Group, Neodocto, Abbott, Northside Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital, Aids Healthcare Foundation, Advisory Board, Penda, Johns Hopkins Medicine, NYC Health + Hospitals, B. Braun, AMpath-Kenya, Omega healthcare, The Standard, Signature Healthcare, My Dawa, Turaco, Capsule, Indygene US, Maisha meds, Afya Rekod, M-tiba, Lily health, Connect Med.


South Africa
Netcare, Life Healthcare, Mediclinic, Private, Philips, Abbott, International SOS, Labcorp, GE Healthcare, NHS, UnitedHealth Group, Siemens Healthineers, Sinapi Biomedical, Mayo Clinic, Discovery Health Partners, Synexus, connectRN, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Help at Home, LifeLabs,, Quantum Health, Diplomat, Prenetics, Sysmex, VitalAire, Intercare, Plumm, Metropolitan Health Group, National Health Laboratory Service, Johnson & Johnson South Africa, Legacy Group, MediHelp, Occupational Care South Africa (OCSA), Unihealth.

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD.
The Digital Health Revolution by Kevin Pereau (Author) and Barry Lenson (Editor)
Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse by Catherine Reef 

The Doctor Paradox
Ted Talks: Science And Medicine.
The Future Of Healthcare
Medtech Talk Podcast
The Undifferentiated Medical Student

Pharma Intelligence
New Scientist
Modern Healthcare
The Lancet
Health Service Journal

Something the Lord Made (2004)
Code Black (Documentary, 2013)
Splice (2009)
Awakenings (1990)
Elysium (2013)
Grey’s Anatomy (Series)

Medic West Africa/East Africa
Africa Health Exhibition
North Africa Health Exhibition and Conference 
Arab Health Exhibition
MEDEXPO Africa,The%20health%20care%20industry%2C%20or%20medical%20industry%2C%20is%20a%20sector,and%20rehabilitation%20of%20medical%20conditions.,receive%20the%20best%20possible%20care.,14_ISEC10012_IL.25,37_IM1023.htm