September 2011   

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Dear readers,
I am delighted to introduce you to a fresh new format of our Alliance newsletters, which will now come to you once a month.  It is my hope that this improved and more comprehensive news service will help keep you up to date with the latest work of the Alliance and our members/ and partners in resolving the health workforce crisis.
These are encourgaing times. There is more commitment than ever before to resolve the HRH crisis. And increasingly we are seeing results on the ground. We must continue to pull together and direct all our efforts to translate this momentum into concrete and immediate action.

We count on your continued collaboration and support.

Dr Mubashar Sheikh   




 Overwhelming commitment and support for health workers worldwide

At the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly and other meetings that took place in New York last month - the health workforce was recognised as an indispensible element to move closer to the achievement of MDGs and to ensure progress especially in the areas of maternal and child health and non communicable diseases.

The High Level meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases, a landmark summit co hosted by the WHO, was the second ever meeting during the UN General Assembly to deal with health issues. Several events around the high level meeting had a health workrforce / health systems strenghthening component. At one such event “Addressing Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) – It Takes a Workforce”  panelists and keynote speakers concurred that effectively addressing the challenges posed by NCDs is dependent on the availability of a prepared, motivated, supported and well-functioning health workforce at all levels of care. Maternal Health in Crisis: Health Workers on the Frontline highlighted the links between-  maternal health and noncommunicable diseases, retention and training of health workers, and strengthening aid architecture in order to better support expansion of the health workforce. A WHO event focused on the critical aspect of developing health fincancing for universal health coverage and its contribution to meeting the costs of prevention and treatment of NCDs. The Political Declaration on Non communicable Diseases was adopted at the opening session of the General Assembly urges to "promote the production, training and retention of health workers with a view to facilitating adequate deployment of a skilled health workforce within countries and regions, in accordance with the World Health Organization Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel."

A global campaign calling for more and better supported health workers culminated in New York with a series of events and campaign acitvities in support of health workers world wide. Over 300 organizations have come together in the campaign, from NGOs, businesses, governments and  the private sector, helping to galvanise efforts in tackling the health worker crisis.

Furthermore, pledges to the Secretary General's Every Woman Every Child strategy were also discussed. With an increase in financial investment, there were also immeasurable, but invaluable policy change commitments. 25 of 40 new commitments included measures to increase the number of health workers. Countries made many important policy and service delivery commitments : Bangladesh committed to double the percentage of births attended by a skilled health worker by 2015 and train 3,000 midwives; Ethiopia pledged to increase the proportion of births attended by a skilled professional from 18% to 60%; Nepal pledged to  train and deploy 10,000 additional skilled birth attendants and fund free maternal health services among hard-to-reach populations.

The Clinton Global Initiative Annual meeting, held at the same time, provided a platform to raise the issue of the health workforce crisis. Dr Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance had the privilege of participating at a session entitled Closing the Gap: the Global Health Worker challenges where he shared the stage with the likes of Barbara Bush and Paul Framer and was provided an opportunity to present on innovative approaches to strengthening the global health workforce and improving access to quality health care for the global community. Barbara Bush spoke of the need of recruiting, training, and supporting future leaders in health and diversifying the pool of young people working in global health. Commitments on health were also made at the session, where Rajesh Punjabi announced and pledged on behalf of Tiyatien Health to train unemployed women and former patients in rural Liberia to save lives and provide health care, while Jonathan Quick, CEO of Management Sciences for Health committed to bringing quality essential medicines to 70 million people in rural communities in five African nations, starting with Uganda, Tanzania, and Liberia, by 2015.

The Alliance commends these recent pledges and the fresh impetus accorded to the crisis and urges further action – to ensure countries, governments, policy makers, donors remain firm in their commitment on HRH.

squares3    HIGHLIGHTS


Board member Professor Were selected to the WHO led Expert Review Group on maternal and child health

The Alliance is delighted to announce the selection of its Board member Professor Miriam K Were to the Expert Review Group (ERG) of the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. The ERG will report regularly to the United Nations Secretary-General on the results and resources related to the Global Strategy and on progress in implementing the Commission’s recommendations.
Read more


Alliance Board member - Frances Day Stirk elected as President of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)

The Alliance extends its heartfelt congratulations to Board member Frances Day-Stirk, on her recent selection as President of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).
Read more

Scaling-up the Community-based Health workforce for Emergencies

The Alliance along with other partners actively involved in supporting the community based health workforce have come together, under the thematic platform on disaster risk reduction for health, to develop a Joint Statement on Scaling-up the Community-based Health workforce for Emergencies. The joint statement will be officially launched in Geneva, Switzerland on October 20. Prior to the launch, partners will come together in a workshop to take the recommendations of the Joint Statement forward through strengthening the partnership and generating an action plan which identifies priority outputs and steps for collaboration and implementation across the community, country, regional and international levels. We will have more on this story and the Joint Statement in the next edition of the newsletter.

squares4    MEMBERS' CORNER


Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education - Webinars Distance Education Grand Rounds Series

The Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE) has launched a new distance education Grand Rounds initiative in partnership with the Medical Education Partnership for All Ugandans (MESAU).This Grand Rounds Series will take place monthly and will be available for free viewing via live or recorded webcasts at www.ccghe.jhmi.edu.

The CCGHE also hosts the online India HIV Case Discussion in partnership with Byramji Jeejeebhoy Medical College (BJMC) and National AIDS Research Institute (NARI).  Two cases are presented and discussed at each session.  Please vist the India HIV Case Discussions page to view these and other archived cases from this ongoing, monthly program.
Read more about Alliance member CCGHE


AEMRN medical camp and mobile clinics reach out to rural populations in Kitale, Kenya

Alliance member the Afro-European Medical and Research Network (AEMRN) walked the talk with the recently conducted multi-disciplinary medical work camps and mobile clinics in Kitale, North-Western Kenya. AEMRN addressed its core mandate by sharing experiences and knowledge with communities in need, and reaching out to populations living in resource limited and hard to reach areas through a powerful and diverse volunteering programme. "We are delighted that we have been able to conduct the mobile clinics in Kitale, as it proved that there is a real need for such exchange and sharing of knowledge by professionals from different disciplines and countries" said Dr Charles Senessie, President of AEMRN International.
Read more


Geneva Health Forum 2012

Call for Proposals

The 4th edition Geneva Health Forum will take place in Geneva from 18-20 April 2012  -  the theme of which is chronic conditions. The organizers are now inviting frontliners and health workers around the world to submit  proposals -whether research abstracts or project experiences. Submissions along the entire health continuum- from upstream multi-sectoral policies for prevention of chronic conditions- both communicable and non communicable and related risk factors to downstream actions in the health sector for detection and treatment.
Read more


In this section we hope to capture the essense of HRH in the press on a monthly basis. With this new monthly compilation, we regret to inform you that we will be discontinuing with our "This Week's News" service.
The Lancet, UK - Education for health professionals in Japan—time to change
The Lancet, UK- Keizo Takemi: a catalytic charisma
The Lancet, UK - Progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on maternal and child mortality: an updated systematic analysis
Daily Monitor, Uganda - African governments must find lasting solution to brain drain
Financial Mail, SA - White coats hang empty
The Guardian, UK - Midwife shortage 'dangerously high'
The Guardian, UK - It's all about health workers
Associated Press- Poorest countries investing more as UN states meet pledge for maternal, child health
American Medical News - Number of physician assistants doubles over past decade

Upcoming event

13 October:
Strengthening 21st Century Global Health Systems: Investing Strategically in the Health Care Workforce, New York, USA
19-21 October:
World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
23-26 October:
World Health Summit 2011 & Special event on Health Workforce, Berlin, Germany
21 October: deadline for applications to Regional workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of Population, Health and Nutrition Programs, 28 November – 16 December 2011, Bangkok, Thailand
More events

New resources

No Child out of Reach - Time to end the health worker crisis (Save the Children report)
Aligning and Clarifying Health Worker Tasks to Improve Maternal Care in Niger - The Tahoua Region Human Resources Quality Improvement Collaborative
Joint Statement by Global Health Workforce Alliance, WHO, IFRC, UNICEF, UNHCR "Scaling-up the Community-Based Health Workforce for Emergencies"
New psychological first aid guide to strengthen humanitarian relief
Visit the Knowledge Centre


Health care in danger - Insights
Series of short films depicting the situation faced by health workers in conflict zones (ICRC Films).
Health-care workers under pressure
Mirta Nubia Rosero is the only health worker in a remote village in south-western Colombia(ICRC Film).
Haven't you seen this animation on "a health worker for everyone, everywhere", produced by the Alliance?
This is Maya
, short animation on health system strengthening, produced by the World Bank
Alliance YouTube Playlist on health workforce crisis

New members

Family Health International (FHI)
Health Policy Research Center (HPRC) - Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Deloitte Consulting LLP (Deloitte Consulting)
Faculty of Public Health at Naresuan University
Enfants du Monde
Integrated Development in Focus (DIF)
ITEM Interactive
Mobile Diagnosis
Africa Health Placements
World Lung Foundation
Global Health Alliance Western Australia

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