Serving in the frontlines: personal experiences and country strategies for retention of HRH in rural areas

Parallel Session 2

Venue: TBC

Day and time: Thursday, 27 January 2011 - 15:30-17:30

In many of the HRH crisis countries, rural and remote areas battle most with the challenges of acute shortages of health workers. High-income countries are also concerned with the inequitable distribution, and this session addresses these issues with first-hand experiences of practitioners working in remote and rural areas.

Many countries in HRH crisis are facing the challenge of acute shortages of health workers, in particular in areas of most need, such as rural or remote areas.

This is a severe bottleneck on the road to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and providing adequate health services. However, the inequitable distribution of health workers between rural or remote and urban areas is not only a concern for low-income countries, but also for high-income countries, that have struggled for years to solve this challenge.

In response to many calls for action, including the Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action of the first HRH Global Forum, the WHO has developed evidence-based recommendations on how to attract, recruit and retain health workers in rural and remote areas. Countries are now beginning to implement these recommendations and evaluate their impact.

This parallel session aims to:

  • Highlight the implications, benefits and challenges of rural health practitioners who have committed to work in rural areas.
  • Share country experiences related to retention of health workers in remote and rural areas.
  • Discuss retention policies and strategies at country and global level, and the role of various stakeholders in their promotion and successful implementation of retention strategies. This will include the recently published WHO recommendations on retention.
  • Inspire the audience to take effective action on retention in their respective countries.
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