Guest Author - Rev. Jackie O´Neal S.T.M.
Global Workforce Alliance
The Global Workforce Alliance will be holding a global forum on human resources for health on March 2-7 2008 in Kampala, Uganda. The program is administered by The World Health Organization, and is a partnership whose mission it is to identify and implement solutions to the health workforce crisis.
There are several groups participating that include national governments, finance institutions, international agencies, academic institutions and professional associations.
Prof.Chen, The World Health Organization’s special envoy for human resources and health was asked about the most pressing challenge confronting health and human resource policy makers and planners throughout the world.
“All countries face human resources challenges, shortages, inequitable distribution, inefficient skill mix and de-motivating work environments, public and private. As countries move vigorously into market economies, labor markets increase as workers seek opportunities. Public policy therefore is even more important in ensuring an adequate health workforce to meet national health goals,” he said.
In an article, “Global shortage of health workers brain drains stressed developing countries,” Bridget M. Kuehn noted:
“A worldwide shortage of health care workers coupled with a disproportionate concentration of health workers in developing nations in urban areas stands in the way of achieving such key public health priorities as reducing child and maternal mortality, increasing vaccine coverage and battling epidemics as HIV/AIDS.”
According to the World Health Organization, currently there are 2.4 million too few physicians, nurses and midwives to provide essential healthcare intervention.
The severe shortage necessitates adopting a global approach to the problem in order to make sufficient progress. Various groups like The World Health Organization are working to address the global shortage of health care workers as well as the specific practices and circumstances that appear to motivate the disproportionate migration of health care workers from the developing countries to wealthier and more stable nations.
It is hoped that the global forums to be held in early March in Kampala, Uganda will make inroads as organizations enter into a dialogue about how to effect change, so that the health care needs of scores of people will be met.
Recently, as the political crisis in Kenya escalated, the United Nations estimated that half a million persons would require humanitarian assistance that includes health care intervention to address TB and HIV/AIDS. Most regions in developing countries affected by war and natural disasters become extremely vulnerable, and it takes skilled medical teams to treat epidemics as well as keep them under control.