Ghana is hosting a technical consultation forum, to provide an African perspective on global initiatives for the improvement of human resources for health development across the world.


The two-day consultation, organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in partnership with the Ministry of Health, involves high level expertise from within the African Region, as well as international experts, to among other things, discuss the draft Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health Workforce 2030 document.


Mr Alex Segbefia, Minister of Health, at the opening in Accra yesterday, said the draft document would ensure availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of the health workforce through adequate investments and implementation of effective policies at country, regional, national and global levels.


According to him, a number of initiatives were on-going globally with active participation of several stakeholders in Human Resources for Health Circles, and therefore participants would focus on ensuring favourable implications of the Strategy on Africans.


He said although there had been great strides globally to improve upon the delivery of health services and to meet objectives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), sub-Saharan Africa is still plagued with the greatest disease burden and has the lowest density of skilled health workers to fight it.


He said without a well-motivated and qualified workforce, even well-resourced health systems could not deliver the needed services and the outcome of the forum would equip African health experts and leaders with strong arguing points to buttress their positions at the upcoming Regional Committee meeting of the WHO in August.


Mr Segbefia said there was now a painful realisation globally, following the Ebola Viral Disease outbreak, hence the critical need to invest in resilient health systems in order to avoid such shocks that have severely affected not only the health sector, but social and economic growth of the whole sub-region.


He said the outcome of the outbreak therefore sends a caution to Africa that there are negative consequences, and sometimes catastrophic ones, if they or the world fail to invest in health systems and have a workforce that meet the needs of communities and populations.


The proposed strategy, he explained, was expected to represent a critical component of the WHO's strategic vision towards universal health coverage and its monitoring framework.


The Strategy should however fit within the frameworks of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the on-going WHO strategy on people-centred and integrated health services.


He expressed the hope that the global strategy would take Africa’s peculiar human resources needs and challenges into consideration, because unless there was a global undertaking that ensured equity of access to skilled health workers, efforts at country and regional level on their own would not accomplish much.


He said the hope of the African Region was that they would be better prepared to work to attain the upcoming SDGs with its universal health coverage targets.


Dr Magda Robalo, WHO Country Representative, said the call for Universal Health Coverage would be a mirage without the appropriate policies and strategies, as well as clear financing mechanisms to get the required human resources in place.


“We are all aware that health delivery in our countries is labour intensive and may remain same in spite of the massive technology advancement in health”, he said.


The effort is to improve the health workforce by addressing some of the challenges that affect adequate numbers of efficient and effective health workforce to deliver the desirable health outcomes.


Source: GNA

Created: 09 July 2015
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