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Health care delivery involves the dispensation and provision of services that promote and maintain
the health of the people. The World Health Organization recognizes leadership and governance as
one of the major pillars of an efficient healthcare delivery system. Effective leadership is integral
to organizational success. The World Bank rates the healthcare delivery systems in sub-Saharan
Africa as one of the worst globally. Previous studies have demonstrated that poor leadership has a
substantial contribution to the moribund state of healthcare delivery in the sub-continent.
Transactional leaders incentivize workers to boost their morale but gives no room for errors which
are bound to happen in sociological systems. Transformational leaders motivate and empower the
subordinates who can misuse the authority given to them. Contingency leaders analyze situations
before taking critical decisions but there are many unknown variables. The traits theory says that
great leaders are born. This however discourages inclusivity and diversity. Additionally, leaders
can be trained but they don’t turn out to have the same effectiveness despite undergoing similar
training. Functional leaders aim to eliminate bureaucracy and prioritize organization’s goals
but organizational change management is complicated in reality. For the integrated approach,
everything matters but nobody knows everything.
This narrative review aims to examine how each leadership theory and style could be applied to
advance healthcare delivery in sub-Saharan Africa and found different leadership styles with the
associated merits and demerits but the hybrid approach that analyzes relevant variables would be
the optimal approach to reinvigorate healthcare delivery in sub-Sahara Africa.