Kuugongelwa-Amadhila welcomes Africa Health Workforce Investment Charter

WINDHOEK: The Africa Health Workforce Investment Charter was launched on Monday during a continental forum organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The charter, which was developed by the WHO in collaboration with African Member States, aims to stimulate and align sustainable long-term investment in health workforce education and employment creation.

Speaking at the opening of the Africa Health Workforce Investment Forum in Windhoek, Prime Minister of Namibia, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila emphasised the significance of investing in the healthcare workforce throughout the continent.

‘Primarily, investments in the African health workforce must first and foremost aim at building capacity and skills. Not only operational skills for those handling patients in wards of health facilities, but also skills to train, to teach and to mentor. Skilled and capable healthcare professionals are what will make or break healthcare service delivery on this continent,’ Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

Secondly, investments in the health workforce of Africa must aim to engender a sense and ethos of service and compassion, she continued.

‘It is now more common than not, to encounter patients who have experienced less than adequate services at the hands of some healthcare workers. There is a need, therefore, to promote greater motivation and a sense of duty in our healthcare workers,’ she noted.

The three-day forum is being held under the theme ‘Aligning and Stimulating Investments to Address Health Workforce Challenges in Africa’ – which WHO Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said underscored the importance of strategic investments and aligning efforts to overcome our challenges.

‘Our new analysis suggests that the African region will face a shortage of 6.1 million health workers by 2030 if business remains as usual. This will greatly affect our pace in tackling the disease burden with effective service interventions – across health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation,’ Moeti said.

Of the anticipated shortage, about 5.3 million of these health workers will be doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, and dentists, she said.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the African Centre for Disease Control Dr Jean Kaseye also welcomed the launch of the Africa Health Workforce Investment Charter.

‘It is my hope that this will mobilise and sustain political and financial commitment and foster inclusiveness and collaboration across sectors as part of investment in the development, performance, and retention of the health workforce in AU Member States,’ he said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency