Alliance welcomes launch of Mozambican Health Workforce Development Plan

The Global Health Workforce Alliance applauds the Mozambican Government and Ministry for the development of their Health Workforce Development Plan for 2008-2015, which was launched in Maputo, Mozambique on 29 October 2008.

Responding to the critical health workforce bottleneck faced by the country, this seven-year development plan on human resources for health has been developed together with the support of partnerships and WHO technical units. It builds on the recognition of the need to address issues of lack of training capacity, recruitment bottlenecks, low pay, low motivation, maldistribution, ‘brain drain’ to the private sector, limited management capacity, and of a severe absolute and relative deficit of health workers.

The plan is an example of a well formulated and costed HR plan providing partners and governments with a solid base for investment. The plan identifies key strategic targets and indicates scheduled activities to be carried out to achieve them. One of the main areas of focus of the plan is on improving the capacity of the Ministry of Health affiliated training institutions. The implementation of the plan will increase the total number of health workers from 25,683 (1.26 per 1,000 inhabitants) to 45,904 (1.87 per 1,000 inhabitants) by 2015 and bring major improvements towards achieving the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Plan’s success depends on the ability of the Government of Mozambique to mobilize sufficient financial and technical support. The Global Health Workforce Alliance urges and encourages all its partners and members to pledge support for the implementation of the Mozambican plan and to continue solid commitment to resolving the health workforce crisis.

The world is facing a critical shortage of more than 4 million health workers, including a lack of at least 1.5 million in Africa. Health workers provide essential, life-saving interventions such as care for pregnant women, safe childbirth, vaccinations and access to services for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Without greater quantity and quality of health workers, health systems will be weakened further and progress on the MDGs, and in health generally, will not be possible.