Alliance welcomes G8 nations renewed commitment to address global health challenges, as outlined in the Camp David Accountability report
The Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance) commends G8 countries on their ongoing efforts to improve the health workforce and their commitments in the G8 Declaration of 18-19 May 2012.
The Declaration released at the end of last week, in Camp David, Maryland, underlines the commitment of the G8 nations to accountability in global health, nutrition and the Muskoka initiative on maternal, newborn and child health, as outlined in the Camp David Accountability Report.
The accountability report reaffirms their commitment to address health workforce challenges, and establishes workforce coverage as a key element to strengthening health systems. It also records important progress of previous G8 commitments on global health, as well as towards the achievement of the goals set forth in the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health.
“The Alliance commends the leadership and ongoing assistance of the G8 in helping countries develop and implement robust health workforce plans, and effective health policies” said Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance.
Following the principle of country ownership, G-8 members have been acting across the spectrum of maternal, newborn and child health needs, including strengthening health systems and supporting frontline health workers in the developing world to deliver life-saving health services for women and children. For example:
- As part of its commitment towards the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, France backs health-system strengthening initiatives to ensure that the health workforce can effectively deliver basic and quality healthcare. As part of the French contribution to the G8 Muskoka initiative, the Alliance supports the development and implementation of HRH strategies according to the Country Coordination and Facilitation (CCF) approach in four African francophone countries - Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mali and Togo - to improve the maternal and child health workers situation, working in partnership with UNFPA, UNICEF, UN WOMEN and WHO.
- The United States government is working towards training 140 000 additional health workers through medical and nursing education partnership initiatives targeting sub-Saharan Africa.
- Japan has trained 100 000 health workers in developing countries as part of its global health strategy.
- The UK and Germany are also contributing to support health workforce development through their bilateral development assistance to countries and through a variety of other channels, including support to the work of the Alliance.
Fifty-seven developing countries, the majority in Africa, still face critical health worker shortages, falling short of the WHO-recommended minimum coverage of trained health personnel, with major gaps in rural areas. This has serious consequences for life expectancy and health, with up to a billion men, women and children worldwide facing a daily struggle to access basic healthcare services.
“Building sustainable, universal access to health care lies at the heart of the 21st century development agenda. Closing the health worker gap, through collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, is an essential step towards acceleration of progress on reaching health and development goals.” said Dr Sheikh. "At its level, the Alliance will continue to support countries in their responses to the crisis to achieve the goal of access for all to skilled, motivated and supported health workers as part of a robust health system", he added
The Alliance has been advocating for overcoming HRH crises, including with G8 countries, since its inception in 2006. It urges the G8 leaders to continue following up on their commitments with increased and new investment in the health workforce and to renew efforts to mobilise additional domestic resources from actors outside the G8.