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African region launches its first health workforce investment charter - P4H Network

African region launches its first health workforce investment charter

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa and partner organizations launched the region’s first-ever health investment charter that aims to align and drive sustainable investment in the health workforce.

The Charter aims to halve the region’s 6.1 million health workforce shortage by 2030. This initiative will mobilize domestic and partner funding to strengthen, grow, and retain health workers, focusing on rural and primary healthcare settings. Namibia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, emphasized the need for well-resourced health professionals for effective healthcare delivery. The region faces significant challenges, including rising unemployment, out-migration, and low-quality training, compounded by inadequate health investment.

Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, Namibia’s Health Minister, highlighted the urgent need to address the out-migration of African health professionals. The charter unites efforts from national governments, the private sector, civil society, and development partners to improve health workforce investment. WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, stated that investing in the health workforce enhances education, employment, and gender equality. This investment is crucial for economic empowerment, especially for women and youth, and supports inclusive economic growth.

Health workforce investment yields high returns, potentially up to $9 for every $1 invested, and has driven significant global economic growth. Dr. Jean Kaseya of the Africa CDC emphasized transforming the health sector into an economic asset.

The African Health Workforce Investment Charter was inaugurated during the Health Workforce Investment Forum in Namibia, May 6-8, 2024. The initiative will continue to engage stakeholders and secure commitments to achieve sustainable health workforce improvements.

African region’s first-ever health workforce investment charter launched, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa