As part of initiatives to address health workforce challenges that hamper the African Region, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with partners and Member States, has developed a draft “African health workforce investment charter” that will help to align and stimulate investments to halve inequities in access to health workers, especially in African countries that have the greatest shortages.
The African Region continues to face many health workforce challenges, particularly shortages, rising unemployment, excessive out-migration, and sub-optimal quality of training. Although there are elaborated country plans and regional commitments to address the challenges, their implementation has been constrained by inadequate financing, often siloed, ad hoc, and inefficient investment approaches.
WHO, in collaboration with partners, including the Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA) partners, convened a regional policy dialogue in November 2022, on health workforce investment and protection.
The policy dialogue held in Accra, Ghana, brought together 26 member states, key international agencies, and organizations, and recommended the development of an African health workforce investment charter.
The draft health workforce investment charter is designed to facilitate the alignment of stakeholder efforts, stimulation, and sustenance of health workforce investments in accordance with Regional and Continental commitments to mobilize and sustain political and financial commitment, fostering inclusiveness and cross-sector collaboration as part of investment in the development, performance, and retention of the health workforce.
Since November 2022, the development of the Charter has undergone several stages of consultation with Member States and partners and has received support from global leaders, ministers, and financing, bilateral and multilateral institutions.
It is expected to be officially launched at the inaugural High-Level African Health Workforce Investment Forum later this year, and is open now for public comments, inviting further collaborative and constructive input towards the strengthening of Africa’s health workforce.
“Our health sector is at a crossroads. The underinvestment in training and employing health workers, coupled with inadequate mechanisms to incentivize them, results in an unfortunate migration. It is time for us to invest more and smarter in our health workforce, for the future of Africa depends on it.” Says, Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, The World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa.
With the African region estimated to face a shortfall of 5.3 million health workers by 2030, the Charter sets out to mitigate this challenge by enabling strategic investment in health workforce education and employment creation.
By focusing on aligning and maximizing the region’s capacity to train health workers and optimizing employment opportunities within both the public and private sectors, the Charter strives to rectify health labour market failures and mismatches.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.