Alliance members join in Netherlands for World Health Day event

WHO/Paul Garwood
A nurse checks the intravenous (IV) fluid infusion for a patient at a treatment centre in the district of Norton in Zimbabwe during the cholera outbreak in 2008. Many emergencies occur in remote locations and require strong, flexible and multi-sectoral means of response to save lives and treat the critically ill

April 7 2009 is World Health Day. This year's theme is "Save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies".

In a statement released for World Health Day, the Global Health Workforce Alliance underlines the important and critical role played by health workers at times of disaster and emergency - as well as in general - and how more support and commitment to their wellbeing is needed, particularly in countries already experiencing critical shortages of health workers.

Marking the Day, Alliance Executive Director Dr Mubashar Sheikh joins Alliance members in the Hague, the Netherlands including Wemos, Cordaid, Oxfam Novib, AMREF Flying Doctors and the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations (IFHHRO) for a special World Health Day event focusing particularly on health workers and the critical shortages around the world.

"Emergencies have devastating impact on the health workforce. This is even more catastrophic when we consider that many countries in the world are already facing critical shortages of health workers -- and it is an unfortunate irony that most disasters (natural and man-made) occur in these very same countries," said the Alliance in its World Health Day Statement.

Bringing together Parliamentarians, policy makers, experts, civil society and the general public, the Netherlands event aims to underline the importance of addressing the health workforce crisis, particularly exploring ways in which the Netherlands could give a meaningful and innovative contribution.

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