Posted on September 06, 2019

Qatar, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Silatech have partnered to hold a high-level joint event at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 21 aimed at accelerating action on the projected global shortfall of 18mn health workers by 2030.

According to Silatech, the event will also highlight the importance and urgency of promoting education and skills development in the health sector, particularly for youth and women.

“This side event precedes the high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage and the adoption of its Political Declaration, which calls for immediate actions to address the global shortfall of 18mn health workers,” Silatech said in a statement. “The meeting will call for action on the disease burden in the Global South and will highlight the explicit gender focus on women who comprise a high percentage of the health workforce,” Silatech added, citing that investments in their training and development form as an investment in gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

The session will also present “how job creation solves social problems by augmenting peace and stability in troubled political contexts.” Speakers at the event are: Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs HE Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, European Investment Bank’s vice-president Ambroise Fayolle, Silatech CEO Sabah Ismaeel al-Haidoos, Former Liberian president and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Workforce Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and World Bank’s vice president for Human Development Annette Dixon.

The session will be moderated by Femi Oke, an award-winning international journalist, broadcaster, professional moderator and co-founder of the diverse moderators bureau "Moderate The Panel." “Investing in human capital means investing in the education, health and skills of the populations to positively impact generations to come,” Silatech said. “With women comprising a high percentage of the health workforce, investments in skills for the health sector workforce is also an investment in gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, as also reaffirmed by the conclusions of the Commission of the Status of Women (E/CN.6/2019/L.3, 2019),” it noted.

WHO estimates that 57 countries worldwide have a critical shortage of health workers, equivalent to a global deficit of about 2.4mn doctors, nurses and midwives. Some 36 of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa and Silatech is developing programmes in four of them: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. “All 36 countries will need to increase their health workforce by about 140% to achieve enough coverage for essential health interventions to make a positive difference in the health and life expectancy of their populations,” Silatech noted.

source: Gulf Times