Health workforce

Masters Degree programme with a focus on health workforce development

Competent leaders are needed to tackle the critical shortage of health workers and to spearhead the planning, production and management of the health workforce for years to come.

To generate these leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa, WHO is supporting a pioneering initiative with networks of educational institutions applying a distance-learning approach to deliver a Masters Degree with a focus on Health Workforce Development.

The first consortium of institutions, led by the University of the Western Cape, School of Public Health, South Africa, was launched in June 2009 with institutions in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Rwanda. The programme is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Fifteen students began their studies in 2009 and are expected to graduate in 2012.

To increase the geographic and linguistic coverage of this initiative, an agreement to develop a second consortium for francophone Africa was drawn up in December 2009. The second consortium is led by the University of Geneva, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Switzerland. With financial support from the Global Health Workforce Alliance, and in partnership with institutions in at least four countries, the programme will begin admitting students in mid 2010.

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