African Techno-Professionals: Leading Strategic Purchasing Solution

on Thursday, 19 April 2018.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is our discussion topic for this period.

I want us to return once again to our previous discussions on the potential contribution of our African Techno-professionals to Africa’s transformation and to call upon this group to take our place as effective leaders where ever we are and at every turn. There is a critical mass of Techno-professionals in most African countries and our time is now.

This is inspired by two events that are taking place in East Africa right now. Along with my ACHEST colleagues, we attended the first event on 22 February, 2018 in Kampala. This was a Joint East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Retreat where host President Y K Museveni of Uganda complained that the conference hall was too hot and apologized to his colleagues. He wondered what the engineers and technicians were doing if they are not able to keep the room comfortably cool. He also wondered what his protocol officers were doing; always walking up and down, looking busy without results. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya followed by complaining about bureaucrats in his country who delay the approval and implementation of investment plans for up to two years. These engineers who could not keep the meeting room cool, the protocol officers and the Kenyan bureaucrats are all our Techno-professionals in whom we have placed great hope for the future. We will come back to discuss how to support this group at a later date.

The Global Health Workforce Movement is Alive and Well.

on Friday, 15 December 2017.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is new information on the Global Human Resources for Health movement. What do you think about it all?

The 4th Global forum on Human Resources for Health (HRH) took place in Dublin Ireland 13 – 17 November, 2017 and was attended by over 1000 delegates from over 70 countries representing government leaders, civil society, academia, employers, foundations, health care professional associations and unions, youth and the private sector. Previous such meetings were held in Kampala, Bangkok, and Recife in Brazil.

I coordinated the convening of the first Global HRH Forum in Kampala in 2008 as the Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance at the time and have attended all the subsequent Forums. I was thrilled to witness in Dublin how the HRH movement remains alive and vibrant ten years after the first Forum.

The following were in my view the most significant outcomes of the Dublin Forum:

First is the renewal and rejuvenation of the global HRH movement representing champions committed to pursuing the call to provide a skilled, supported and motivated health worker for every person in every village everywhere and the Kampala call for “Health Workers for All and All for Health Workers.” This aspiration is central to the achievement of SDG 3 including Universal Health Coverage. It is this HRH movement that will be counted upon to ensure that access to essential health services are not left to market forces alone which would leave many unable to access basic health services. The governance of the Global Health Workforce Network (GHWN) that now brings together stakeholders in the HRH movement and is hosted within WHO, Geneva as a successor to GHWA was discussed. GHWN activities will be implemented through Hubs in various specialized fields such as Education and Training, Leadership and governance, Labour Markets and Civil Society. A new Civil Society Coalition on HRH was launched in Dublin to drive advocacy and accountability.

67 WHO REGIONAL COMMITTEE INSPIRES HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN HEALTH

on Tuesday, 29 August 2017.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is our discussion topic for August and September 2017.

I am writing from the 67th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa opened on 28th August 2017 at Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; opened by President Robert Mugabe. Key participants included Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, Dr Asamoah Baah Deputy WHO DG, Dr A. Nascimento do Rosario, President of the 66th Regional Committee from Cape Verde and David Parirenyatwa, Minister of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe, the African Union Commissioner for Social Services and Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as well as delegations from the Member States of the WHO African Region and partners.

It is an uplifting experience to see all these leaders united here including the AU Commission. They all placed health of the people at the center not just in words but I feel that these leaders are sincere in what they are saying to us. Do we care? How do we show that we care? These are the questions that are being asked here. For example President Mugabe stated “Let us therefore push health to take its deserved prominence on our agendas in our sub-regional groups, at the African Union level and indeed on the global forum,".

President Mugabe also noted that Africa is disproportionately represented on the global disease burden for communicable and non-communicable diseases. "We must ask ourselves why this is so, and more importantly, what can we do to arrest and reverse these trends," and called for building of formal health care systems to respond. Indeed Zimbabwe has taken practical steps to finance health from domestic resources. It was the first country to have an HIV levy and has followed this up with a health tax on phone calls. These are bold actions indeed. Can we hear of other such examples?

REFRESHING DIRECTIONS FROM THE 70TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY

on Wednesday, 21 June 2017.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is our topic for June,2017.

The 70th World Health Assembly ended nearly one month ago and left me feeling good for a number of reasons.

The first was the election of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia as the first African Director General of WHO. This was achieved in a closed session where three candidates vied for the votes of all member states by secret ballot unlike in the past years when the Executive Board of WHO submitted one name for endorsement by the WHA. Dr. Tedros, as the new Director General is generally known, won easily in three rounds of voting and is an excellent choice. Dr. Tedros has first-hand experience in running a national health system as a very successful Health Minister in Ethiopia.

As health minister, he was very popular among the global health initiatives where he served as chair on the Boards of these organizations such as Roil Back Malaria, and the Global Fund. His current job has been Foreign Minister of Ethiopia which has further exposed him to the world of global diplomacy. I have personally worked with Dr. Tedros in my days as Executive Director of GHWA where Ethiopia was a grantee as one of the 8 global Pathfinder countries on HRH development and later I was a Senior Adviser to the five-year Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health where Ethiopia was one of the five project countries. From this experience I can describe Dr. Tedros as human, caring and visionary. The WHO and the global community should look forward to the future of global health with hope and I wish Dr. Tedros every success. Should Africa expect anything special?

THE 5TH FORUM OF THE AFRICAN PLATFORM ON HRH, 19 -21 APRIL, 2017, KAMPALA.

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.