WHO, USAID Celebrate World Health Worker Week April 2-8 2017

by Kim Boateng Last updated on May 20th, 2017,

WHO, USAID Celebrate World Health Worker Week April 2-8 2017. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrates World Health Worker Week to recognize the lasting impact health workers make around the world.

Health workers serve a critical role at the frontline of disease detection and control. From volunteer community health workers in remote rural villages to doctors and health managers in urban hospitals, the health workforce is the primary link to the health system for individuals, families and communities around the world. Yet, there is a projected shortage of 18 million health workers needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in low- and lower middle-income countries by 2030.

As the world becomes increasingly connected and diseases easily cross borders, we must ensure that health workers are able to address evolving population health needs and emerging epidemics in their countries and regions, while continuing to deliver essential healthcare services. USAID is working with countries to address this gap by strengthening their existing health workforce through better training and processes, while identifying the skills and locations where health workers are needed most.

Over the last decade, USAID has been at the forefront of supporting the health workforce. Through the Human Resources for Health 2030 (HRH2030)(link is external) program, USAID leads implementation of the global strategy(link is external), reaching across the development sectors of economic growth and education to find solutions to health workforce challenges such as recruitment, training, productivity, performance, motivation, and retention.

By building country ownership and local capacity, USAID works in partnership with countries around the globe to help local governments drive and lead the strengthening of their own health systems, so they are efficient, resilient and sustainable. Strong health systems and competent health workforces are a necessary step toward achieving global health goals in the coming decades.

Join USAID in recognizing the dedicated individuals who make our global health efforts possible.

In recognition of World Health Worker Week, which takes place this year from April 2-8, USAID discusses on it’s website, the impact and role of health workers in strengthening health systems worldwide and provides resources on USAID’s efforts to strengthen health systems and support the global health workforce (April 2017).

USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

In an interconnected world, instability anywhere around the world can impact us here at home. Working side-by-side with the military in active conflicts, USAID plays a critical role in our nation’s effort to  stabilize countries and build responsive local governance; we work on the same problems as our military using a different set of tools. We also ease the transition between conflict and long-term development by investing in agriculture, health systems and democratic institutions. And while USAID can work in active conflict, or help countries transition from violence, the most important thing we can do is prevent conflict in the first place. This is smarter, safer and less costly than sending in soldiers.

USAID extends help from the American  people to achieve results for the poorest  and most vulnerable around the world. That assistance does not represent a Democratic value or a Republican value, but an American value; as beneficiaries of peace and prosperity, Americans have a responsibility to assist those less fortunate so we see the day when our assistance is no longer necessary.

USAID invests in ideas that work to improve the lives of millions of  men, women and children by:

  • Investing in agricultural productivity  so countries can feed their people
  • Combating maternal and child  mortality and deadly diseases like  HIV, malaria and tuberculosis
  • Providing life-saving assistance in the  wake of disaster
  • Promoting democracy, human rights and good governance around  the world
  • Fostering private sector development  and sustainable economic growth
  • Helping communities adapt to a changing environment
  • Elevating the role of women and girls.

According to The World Health Organization on it’s World Health Worker Week portal, frontlinehealthworkers.org, World Health Worker Week is an opportunity to mobilize communities, partners, and policy makers in support of health workers in communities and around the world.

It is a time to celebrate the amazing work that they do and it is a time to raise awareness to the challenges they face every day. Perhaps most importantly, it is an opportunity to fill in the gaps in the health workforce by calling those in power to ensure that health workers have the training, supplies and support they need to do their jobs effectively.

They are caretakers. They are educators. They are your neighbors, friends, and family. Without them, there would be no health care for millions of families in the developing world.

Frontline health workers are midwives, community health workers, pharmacists, peer counselors, nurses and doctors working at community level as the first point of care for communities. They are the backbone of effective health systems and often come from the very communities they serve.

They are the first and often the only link to health care for millions of people. Frontline health workers provide immunizations and treat common infections. They are on the frontlines of battling deadly diseases diseases like Ebola and HIV/AIDS, and many families rely on them as trusted sources of information for preventing, treating and managing a variety of leading killers including diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria and tuberculosis.

The Global Health Workforce Network operates within WHO as a global mechanism for stakeholder consultation, dialogue and coordination on comprehensive and coherent health workforce policies in support of the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and the recommendations of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth.

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Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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