'Action to resolve the accelerating crisis in the global health workforce': the GHWA Forum: Nester T Moyo, ICM Senior Midwifery Adviser, attended the First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, in Kampala, Uganda, 2-7 March 2008.

Author:Moyo, Nester T.
 
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The first ever Global Forum on Human Resources for Health was organised by the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) in Kampala, Uganda. The GHWA is a partnership dedicated to identifying and implementing solutions to the health workforce crisis. It brings together national governments, civil society, finance institutions, workers, international agencies, academic institutions and professional associations. The Alliance is hosted and administered by the World Health Organization.

ICM was able to participate and contribute through the support of UNFPA.

Participants and programme

The forum was attended by nearly 1500 participants, including more than 30 ministers of health, education and finance and some former heads of state. The midwives of Uganda were well represented. There were also midwives from other countries such as India, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The programme offered a diversity of topics, plenary sessions, concurrent workshops, a skill-building workshop and constituency meetings. ICM took part in the constituency meeting organised and moderated by UNFPA with participants from the WHO Making Pregnancy Safer Department, AMDD, FIGO, and UNFPA Zimbabwe

Key contributions

The contribution from ICM emphasised:

* The value of midwives as the lynchpin of care provision in maternal newborn and child health and the need for effective competency-based education for all cadres who work in this field, the importance of supportive super-vision, appropriate rewards systems and incentives for retention of staff. The provision of quality care involves not only the placing of people in the community but ensuring those people have the relevant skills to save life.

* The value of partnerships with others of similar interests such as UNFPA and others.

* Auxiliary workers are particularly effective if they are well supported and supervised and are in an enabling environment and regulatory framework. Midwives can offer the support that auxiliary workers need. It may be helpful for governments to educate one midwife for every 10 auxiliary workers they produce: a short-term solution that also builds to the long-term solution.

* Effective provision of maternal newborn and child health care is a development issue, as health workers of any category are more likely to stay in the communities if those communities have the facilities required for a reasonable living standard.

* ICM places strong emphasis on...

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