The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3287.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 3:30 PM

Abstract #74178

Prospects for Action to Address the Health Workforce Crisis in Africa

Demissie Habte, MD, World Bank/ Rockefeller Foundation, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20043, 202-458-5997, and Edward Elmendorf, MA, MPH, Johns Hopkins University/ World Bank, 1901 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Apt. 61, Washington, DC 20009.

Developments in global health underscore the urgency of addressing the crisis crippling health systems and services in Africa: First, the increasing recognition that human resources for health are indispensable assets. Second, the realization that the world has the resources and know-how substantially to improve health outcomes, as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. Third, the appreciation that better health is essential for economic development and eradication of poverty.

Issues affecting the health workforce are complex, multifactorial in genesis, intersectoral in nature. They concern many stakeholders, including government (health, education, finance, planning civil service), civil society, training institutions, health workers' associations, and donors. Strategies to address the issues require long term attention and comprehensive approaches involving all stakeholders.

This paper reviews the various factors impinging on the performance of the health workforce, and assesses selected recent initiatives to address the health workforce crisis in. It takes stock of work sponsored by WHO, the World Bank, and USAID, and selectively reviews actions taken by individual African countries. The paper gives particular attention to work on African health workforce issues sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. The paper examines the constraints inhibiting action at the country level, and concludes with an assessment of the prospects for reform and adjustment.

Participants can expect to learn about the different dimensions of the health workforce crisis in Africa. They will also learn about the widely varying responses of individual African countries, about reasons for this variation, and about the prospects for change.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Managing Health Workforce Issues: Globally and Locally

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA