[Excerpt from author] Background: Sub-Saharan Africa faces a human resources crisis in the health sector. Over the past two decades its population has increased substantially, with a significant rise in the disease burden due to HIV/AIDS and recurrent communicable diseases and an increased incidence of noncommunicable diseases. This increased demand for health services is met with a rather low supply of health workers, but this notwithstanding, sub-Saharan African countries also experience significant wastage of their human resources stock. Conclusion: The paper reviews strategies that have been proposed and/or implemented. It suggests areas needing further attention, including: developing and using indicators for monitoring and managing wastage; enhancing motivation and morale of health workers; protecting and valuing the health worker with enhanced occupational safety and welfare systems; and establishing the moral leadership to effectively tackle HIV/AIDS and the brain drain.