Who Will Coordinate the Global Health Workforce Agenda?

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017.

Dear Colleagues,

This is our topic for July and August 2016.

Our last discussion was about the May 2016, World Health Assembly and among the many activities that took place during the WHA was the “celebration” of 10 years of the life of Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) and the transformation of this institution into a Network with a secretariat at the WHO Department of Health Workforce and an independent Management Board. The question that arose was whether this event was a celebration or a funeral for GHWA? I argued that it was both. Why?
A celebration because the founding documents of GHWA are beautiful with very clear objectives, deliverables and methods of work and in a short time we achieved a lot. We raised the visibility of the Health Workforce crisis, we quickly generated new knowledge on country and global work through the work of Task Forces and Working groups and we convened the First ever Global Forum on HRH and have held two other to follow on that. We have succeeded in having HWF at a target in the SDGs and the UNSG has always been supportive as he sent us a personal video message at the first Global Forum in Kampala and now he has appointed a High level Commission on health employment.

Can Low Income countries afford skilled health workers for UHC? Two weeks ago in my country Uganda, the President of the country went to visit one of the districts and ended up sending away all but one of the 12 or so health workers in that rural health

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017.

Two weeks ago in my country Uganda, the President of the country went to visit one of the districts and ended up sending away all but one of the 12 or so health workers in that rural health center. This happened because during a public meeting at the health center, the population expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of services that were being provided to them by the health center. This health center closed down immediately but was later in the week reopened by health workers from the military. There was uproar in the social media and media against this action by the President and the Opposition political leadership called a press conference to condemn it. The President moved quickly and invited a selection of health workers leaders to State House for discussions and followed up by attending the annual dinner of the Uganda Medical Association to facilitate further dialogue with the professionals.
I attended this dinner and as the newly elected chair of the Elders Forum of the Uganda Medical Association, I had an opportunity to speak. I informed the President that Uganda has very well trained health workers who are patriotic and loyal to the country and the population and were well liked outside Uganda as evidenced by their outstanding contribution to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. What was needed, I said, is to support them in addressing the health challenges in the country.

The WHO African Region Convenes

on Monday, 16 November 2015.

The 65th Regional Committee Meeting of the WHO Africa willmeet between 23 - 27th
November, 2015 in Ndjamena, Republic of Chad. Themeeting is taking place later than
usual partly due to security issues in thehost country. I am glad that the Republic
of Chad is able to host the meetingbecause I am informed that the President of Chad
personally chairs a Health meetingevery month and may be the only head of state to
do so in Africa or indeed thewhole world.


on Monday, 13 July 2015.

Here is ourdiscussion topic for July and August 2015. This week,the World Health
Organization has posted a draft of the proposed GlobalStrategy on Human Resources
for Health (HRH) for an online consultation bysoliciting comments from stakeholders
round the world.  At the same time regional face to faceconsultations have commenced
with the African meeting now taking place inAccra, Ghana. The draft HRH strategy has
four objectives namely (i) Making thebest use of the existing stock of HRH, (ii)
Anticipating future HRH needs,(iii) building capacity for global and national
leadership, governance andmanagement of the HRH, (iv) Ensuring the availability of
HRH data, evidence andknowledge to underpin monitoring and accountability at global
and nationallevel.


on Wednesday, 13 May 2015.

The time of the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) is with us again. The preliminary meetings start this week and the formal assembly starts on 18th May,ending on 26th May 2015. I hope all delegations remember our previous discussions on how to prepare for these meetings. In the case of African countries, this year’s WHA will be different in that the WHO Region for Africa will be led by a new Regional Director in the names of Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, a national of Botswana. Dr. Moeti was elected by the African Regional Committee in Cotonou, Benin last September, confirmed by the WHO Executive Board in January 2015 and took up her office on 1st February, 2015.