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African Health Workforce Investment Charter launched

African Health Workforce Investment Charter launched

The African Health Workforce Investment Charter was unveiled at the inaugural Africa Health Workforce Investment Forum in Windhoek, in partnership between the government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The launch of the charter this week was a coordinated effort to invest in health workforce education, employment, and retention. It aims to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes, especially in underserved regions.

Attended by approximately 170 delegates, including Ministers of Health, Labor, and Finance from 18 African countries, the forum commenced with an opening address by Namibian Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila extended a warm welcome to all attendees, expressing gratitude to the WHO and partnering organizations for choosing Namibia as the forum’s host

She emphasized the event’s timeliness in providing a platform for stakeholders to address pressing issues concerning the health workforce agenda in Africa.

“Africa faces numerous health workforce challenges, ranging from shortages of trained professionals to issues of retention and distribution,” she said, stressing the invaluable contributions of health workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing their sacrifices and dedication to public health.

She outlined Namibia’s strides in strengthening its health workforce, citing the establishment of the University of Namibia’s School of Medicine and the development of a comprehensive Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recognized the ongoing challenges, such as reducing maternal mortality rates and addressing healthcare worker shortages, especially in rural areas.

Speaking at the same event, Jean Kaseya, Director General of the Africa Centers for Disease Control, called for collaborative action, urging participants to embrace innovative solutions and partnerships.

He emphasized the importance of the Africa Health Workforce Investment Charter in mobilizing political and financial commitment to develop, empower, and retain the health workforce across AU Member States.

“Let us commit to bold action and to inclusive strategies. Let us harness our collective energies to build health systems that are not only equipped to meet current demands but are resilient enough to adapt to future challenges,” he said.

According to Kaseya, while sub-Saharan Africa accounts for approximately 24 percent of the global disease burden, it is home to only 3% of the world’s health workers.

The launch of the African Health Workforce Investment Charter meanwhile marked a significant step towards addressing the critical needs of healthcare workers and improving health outcomes across Africa.


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