on Thursday, 09 March 2017.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is our topic for March and April, 2017.

The African Platform on Human Resources for Health will hold the 5th African HWF Forum in Kampala, Uganda, from Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st April 2017. The African Platform is the regional arm of the Global Health Workforce Network (GWN) that was launched in Geneva last December, 2016 as the successor the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA).

Emerging evidence from the studies leading to the development of the new Global Health Workforce Strategy shows that despite spirited advocacy and several interventions in Education and Training, HWF management and campaigns over the last decade, African HWF densities have stagnated and have worsened in some countries. At the same time there are several global developments such as the SDGs, the new Global Health Workforce Strategy, the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth and the Five-Year Action Plan to implement its recommendations. The African Union Commission has also launched a new Health Strategy during 2016.


Against this background, the governing Board of the African Platform and 3rd Congress of the African Health System Governance Network (ASHGOVNET) specifically requested the African Platform to convene the forum of member networks, African countries and partners. The congress further requested the African Platform to work with the Africa Regional office of the World Health Organisation (WHO/Afro), and partners to urgently put in place an enhanced technical support program for African Countries with the aim:

a. To strengthen country level health workforce leadership, development and management structures, especially at the ministries of health in member states. This will include mobilising other relevant sectors and actors at country level such as professional associations and civil society organizations.

b. To support African Member states in translating for action key regional and global health policy developments as enumerated above.

c. To fast track the strengthening of Health Workforce information systems in countries. This is needed to facilitate leadership, planning and management of HWF inflows, stocks and outflows as well as implementing the WHO Code on International Recruitment of Health Personnel. The result will be improved reporting on the code for the 3rd round due next year in 2018.

What are the Specific Objectives of this Forum?

• The Forum will review the status of implementation of the “Road map for scaling up human resources for health for improved health service delivery in the African Region 2012–2025” that was launched in 2012.
• The participants will gain a deep understanding of relevant recent developments such as the “Global strategy on human resources for health: (Workforce 2030)”; the African Health Strategy.; the Five-Year Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth .

• The implications for African countries of the establishment of the Global Health Workforce Network (GHWN), at the WHO secretariat in Geneva will be discussed and management of the relationships will be agreed.

• The forum will prepare the African the HWF for their role in advancing the movement towards Universal Health Coverage, as a part of the means to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
• Joint learning will take place and opportunities for collaboration at all levels will be facilitated resulting in vibrant exchange and sharing of regional experiences.
• The forum will provide the opportunity to build an informed African voice for active engagement and participation at the 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, scheduled to be held in Dublin, Ireland from 13-17 November 2017.

The Forum will be conducted through Plenary, Break out and Poster sessions under the following five thematic streams:

• HWF Education and Training;
• Preparing the African HWF for Universal Health Coverage ;
• Leadership for Development, Management and Regulation;
• Nursing; as the Backbone of the Health System
• HWF Migration

At the end, A Forum report and an Action Plan for renewed energy and accountability will be released.

What profile of participants do we expect? Participation at this Forum is open to a broad range of stakeholders especially from the African region to include but not limited to:

Country HRH Leaders, Directors and other senior Officials from relevant Sectors, WHO Headquarters and WHO Afro Regional Offices, Members of the UN Family, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, IOM Regional Inter-government Bodies, African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, African Development Bank, Deans and Principals of Health Professional Training Institutions, Health Professional Associations, Civil Society Organizations, The media, International Partners and Development Partners.

I request for your advice, guidance and of course participation at this important event.

Yours Sincerely,


Comments (3)

  • G Sikipa

    G Sikipa

    13 March 2017 at 10:10 |
    Dear Francis,

    Warm greetings to you and all colleagues.

    Thank you for organizing the up-coming 5th African HWF Forum. I have a request/suggestion- Would it be possible to have an analysis/study on how many countries in our region are currently experiencing a situation where they are unable to offer jobs to newly qualified nurses and doctors. What are the factors causing HR shortages in our health delivery systems. Is it inadequate production? Inadequate capacity of the public sector to absorb the new graduates? Is it bad conditions of services leading to poor retention of those that initially join? May I suggest that we do an analysis of these issues to inform candid discussions about what are the real issues. Why are we having frequent work stopages by health workers in several countries in the region? Has there been any studies or comparisons of the remuneration of health workers against those of other professional groupings including our parliamentarians and other leaders. I believe that armed with this kind of information we can should then maturely and hopefully unemotionally discuss the real issues that are obstacles to improving our HRH situation in our region.

    If there is any literature on some of these questions/issues, from WHO or elsewhere, I would be most grateful if this can be shared before the meeting in April.

    Godfrey Sikipa.
  • OKELLO, David O.

    OKELLO, David O.

    13 March 2017 at 10:22 |
    Dear Prof Omaswa,

    This is to acknowledge receipt of your message, announcing the 5th African HWF Forum in Kampala.
    I have no specific advice on the theme of the forum which seems well thought out already. However, you may wish to find ways of engaging the HWF employers. Increasingly, we are seeing health workers in the public sector taking industrial/union actions over disputes in employment terms. This obviously is part of a wider labour management relationship. In addition, however it looks like there is a serious bottleneck in the national capacity to absorb trained HWF – which makes it appear like countries are now training more HWF than they can absorb. Unemployment of doctors and nurses trained at very high costs, and in spite of obvious shortages in the field is a symptom of weak planning. Creation of establishment position within the public sector with necessary budgetary provision should be made before employment of HWF can be fully implemented. In some case the extant rules and regulation governing employment and conditions of service needs to be reviewed to take on board the dire need of HWF to deliver the much needed services to improve the health of the population and its productivity for economic prosperity.
    Thank you.

    David Okello
  • Peter Ngatia

    Peter Ngatia

    22 March 2017 at 08:55 |
    Dear Francis

    It was nice to see you at the Amref 'Africa Health Agenda' Conference. Thank you and Patrick for your attendance and contributions. Your presence always enriches such meetings as this.
    I am pleased to know that the AHRHP is still alive and well and will hold the 5th HWF Forum in April (19-21). It has been a long time since there was communication on AHRHP. Better late than never, so they say.
    The issues that you propose for discussions are topical and worthy of the members' deliberations. It would however help if we had an indicative programme, showing the topics, timing and discussants/facilitators, etc. It will also be good to use case study approach to address the thematic streams. I won't mind working on one on the LMG Stream.
    Finally, will the AHRHP meet the costs of travel and accommodation? I look forward to reunite with esteemed colleagues and friends.
    Best wishes and regards


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.