Campaigning for health workers
Health workers, the nucleus of health systems, are the hands that deliver health services to the populations. Often working under great pressure and difficult situations, they are rarely acknowledged and recognized for the value of their work. Despite promising progress in the past years, the severe scarcity of human resources for health still remains as a major obstacle to the achievement of the health related Millennium Development Goals. Globally 3.5 million new health workers are needed to ensure that every person everywhere has access to a skilled, motivated and supported health worker.
To reach this goal, the Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance), since its inception has been working tirelessly to bring the health workforce crisis to the forefront of the global political agendas, including the G8, G20, and the UN. In 2010 for instance, the Alliance successfully influenced the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy on Women's and Children's Health by developing a background paper highlighting the workforce requirements for realizing the Strategy's objectives.
It is clear however that there is still an urgent need to reinforce global and country leadership on HRH if we are to overcoming the crisis. With this in mind, the Alliance is highlighting two major campaign initiatives of its members and is calling upon all its members and partners to render support by signing the campaign petitions.
Launch of "Health workers count"
Today, Alliance member Save the Children UK launched a global campaign aimed at bringing people and organizations behind an urgent call for more health workers, better supported.
Over 250 organizations have already joined the call and signed the statement with the objective of leveraging a bold leadership "to make new, substantial and specific commitments to expand the number of health workers and better support those workers who are already in place." For organization signed up to the campaign and those interested in getting involved, the campaign organizers have released a campaign toolkit which provides practical information and suggestions on how to run the campaign at the country level. It also suggests a range of campaign activities in the lead up to the UN General Assembly meetings and related events.
Sign up for the campaign and more information on the toolkit visit:www.healthworkerscount.org.
The campaign can also be followed on twitter via @healthworkers.
Hands Up for Health Workers: Raise your hand for peace
For Peace Day celebrated on 21 September, Alliance member Merlin is building on its longstanding campaign "Hands Up For Health Workers" with a special initiative focused on the harsh situation faced by health workers in conflict situations. "Raise your hand for peace" wants 5 000 people to join health workers caught up in conflict to call for peace. The petition will be presented to world leaders in New York at the UN General Assembly.
Get involved by signing up here www.handsupforhealthworkers.org and your name will automatically be added to a petition that Merlin will take to the UN.