Tapping the potential of a volunteer workforce
Article: Aylward & Linkins 2005;83:268-73
Dear Sir, I appreciate the efforts of the authors of the article and the Editors of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization for addressing the issue of management of human resources in Polio Eradication through the theme paper entitled "Polio Eradication: Mobilizing and managing the human resources" by R Bruce Aylward & Jennifer Linkins (1).
As has been rightly pointed out, human resources has been and will be one of the important problem areas while reaching for the goal of Polio Eradication. The problem of human resources is more severe in urban areas where there is little or no organized health infrastructure. Highly dense high risk populations living in poor sanitary conditions with inadequate health manpower are the challenge of most developing countries’ urban areas.
As has been rightly stressed by the authors of this article, there is a need to identify, mobilize and manage "informal" and "volunteer" workforces for the campaign at this crucial juncture of Polio Eradication. Relatively simple tasks, which need no highly skilled personnel and sophisticated training, are points in favour of the creation of a informal volunteer workforce for the campaign. Apart from mobilizing the human resources from other sectors (education, police, home guards etc), the general population of a city or state can also be mobilized through an appeal to join hands in this noble campaign. In the past, the general population had responded very positively during disasters and at times of national or international emergencies. The general population and huge volunteer workforce, can be very powerful if tapped to contribute to the noble cause. The men, women, youth and senior citizens can effectively contribute in organizing and implementing the relatively simple activities at posts (booths) or transit points (parks, stations, religious places) on NIDs or SNIDs. The active community participation will also help in reaching a maximum number of children.
We should not miss the opportunity of tapping the potential of this volunteer workforce as formally trained health manpower is insufficient to fully implement the strategies.
Dr. M.B. Khamgaonkar.
- Aylward R Bruce, Linkins J. Polio Eradication: Mobilizing and managing the human resources. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2005;83:268-73.
Associate Professor, Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra State, India (email: email@example.com).