Health workforce

Regional workshop on pharmaceutical human resource assessments in countries and strategies to improve planning for the sector

27–31 July 2009, Abuja, Nigeria

It is widely recognized that the availability of trained pharmaceutical personnel is of critical importance for efforts in scaling up access to essential medicines and in meeting national and international health goals. However, information about the global workforce in the pharmaceutical sector is highly deficient. This situation stems in part from the lack of comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date data on pharmacists and other cadres of pharmaceutical service providers in many countries.

The objective of the workshop was to present findings and share experiences among countries participating in the WHO-supported "Survey of pharmaceutical human resources" project. Four countries were represented – Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania – with stakeholders from national ministries, professional regulatory councils, universities and private sector consultants, as well as the International Pharmaceutical Federation. Participants shared summaries of experiences and lessons learnt in conducting a situation analysis of the pharmaceutical workforce in their national context – covering various domains including workforce supply, distribution, education and training, regulation and attrition – and elaborated recommendations for strengthening information systems and policy options for human resources planning for the pharmaceutical sector.