Save the Children: No Child Out of Reach
19 SEPTEMBER 2011 - Save the Children’s latest report, No Child Out Of Reach, which calls for immediate action to end the global health worker crisis.
The current shortage of 3.5 million doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers means that millions of children do not receive the health care they need, and risk an early death from preventable causes. We cannot achieve the goal of saving 15 million children’s lives by 2015 unless a health worker – with the right skills, equipment and support – is within reach of every child.
The new report sets out the scale and the causes of the crisis, and recommendations for how it can be overcome. Progress will require political action at the global level, backed by strong national efforts in every country with a critical shortage of health workers.
Increased long-term investment is needed to recruit and train more health workers, with a balance across different cadres. At the same time better use of the existing workforce must be made by ensuring they are equitably deployed, receive a fair living wage, and are well supported, trained, equipped and motivated. Tackling the health worker crisis will also require governments and donors to spend more, and spend more smartly, focusing on areas that will have the greatest impact on children’s health.
The UN General Assembly will be a critical moment for catalysing global political action on health workers. World leaders need to use the UN summit in New York make new, substantial and specific commitments to expand the number of health workers and better support those workers already in place.
Around the world, hundreds of organisations and millions of individuals have come together behind this urgent call to put a health worker within reach of every child. This report presents the evidence to back that call and makes the case for why the world’s leaders must invest in health workers as the best way to achieve the goal of reducing child and maternal deaths.