PEPFAR, IHP+ review action on global health workforce commitments

"Joint analysis by countries and partners in an effort to fulfill the promises by global leaders on HRH, is a welcome sign for more coordinated and comprehensive action"

Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Alliance Executive Director

27 January 2010 | PEPFAR and IHP+ have released today a synthesis document reviewing progress on their collaboration with the respective Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia. This work results from the joint commitments of former President Bush and Prime Minister Brown to increase the health workforce in Africa in April 2008. The initial announcement included PEPFAR funding of $1.2billion for 2008-2013 and DFID pledge of GBP£210 million between 2008-2010 for human resources for health development in these four ‘overlap’ countries. This announcement has been a contributing factor to the high level commitments on HRH made by G8 leaders in 2008 and 2009.

The synthesis paper, entitled Taking Forward Action on Human Resources for Health in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia: Synthesis and Measures of Success, outlines six measures of success to strengthen national HRH strategies and reduce the gap in health workforce shortages. These are:

  • supporting comprehensive, costed health workforce plans consistent with broader goals;
  • strengthening human resources information systems and broader workforce surveillance;
  • enabling the training, deployment and retention of a jointly-agreed targeted number of additional health care workers by 2013;
  • monitoring the distribution of the active health workforce;
  • tracking workforce movement into and out of the national health sector; and
  • reviewing fiscal space for health following the principles of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action.

"PEPFAR teams in the countries are supporting workforce development, human resources for health information systems, retention strategies and technical assistance to Ministries of health," said Joan Holloway, a representative of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC)/PEPFAR.

"As one of the IHP signatories DFID is now acting on the recommendations, including new technical and financial assistance requested by our national partners. This joint work demonstrates the value of partnerships to tackle country-specific HRH challenges and has identified opportunities for improved harmonization and alignment of priority activities and funding at the country level,” said James Campbell, adviser for HRH, DFID. As the four countries lead their next phase of actions there is a greater clarity on the respective advantages of the technical assistance and financing streams from both the IHP+ and PEPFAR.

"Joint analysis by countries and partners in an effort to fulfill the promises by global leaders on HRH, is a welcome sign for more coordinated and comprehensive action," said Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance. "The Alliance is also encouraged to see the utilization of the Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action as a framework for review of the four country reports. We look forward to full delivery of commitments by donor and national governments and partners for better success in HRH going forward," he added.

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