GHWA welcomes Japan's health worker training commitment

The Global Health Workforce Alliance heralds the announcement made by Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fakuda which commits Japan to train one hundred thousand people in Africa over the next five years as health workers. Prime Minister Fukuda made the announcement at the Opening Session of TICAD IV-- the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Yokohoma, Japan, 28-30 May).

GHWA praises Japan's leadership on responding to the health workforce crisis and its additional pledge to double its ODA to Africa by 2012. Japan's commitment joins those recently announced by President of the United States, George Bush and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown on their intention to provide support for increasing the numbers of health workers across Africa.

With these announcements, Japan, the US and the UK show they are leaders moving from recognition of the health workforce crisis to collaborative action together and send strong message that they will continue to be global leaders in addressing this devastating crisis.

With more than 4.3 million health workers needed world wide to bridge the shortage, the health workforce crisis is one of the most critical constraints to the reaching of international health and development goals and the responses to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The global response to the health worker crisis requires strong, sustained commitment at the highest level from the nations across the world.

The Global Health Workforce Alliance urges Japan to continue its solid commitment, including keeping the issue high on the agenda of the upcoming meeting of G8 leaders, as a key step towards achieving its goal of 'a vibrant Africa',

GHWA looks forward to a Hokkaido Summit that will help turn the ideal of human security into reality for untold millions of people around the world. This must include commitments and concrete actions required to secure for every person, in every part of every country, access to skilled, motivated and supported health workers.