Health Workforce

Health Workforce


    The Human Resources for Health Programme ensures an available, competent, responsive and productive health workforce in order to improve health outcomes at country level or in countries.


    The Human Resources for Health Programme consists of the following components:

    • Advocacy, Resource Mobilization and Partnership
    • Health Sciences Education Systems including Medical Education
    • Human Resource Intelligence
    • Management of the Health Workforce



    Brazzaville, 2 December 2013 – Health experts are meeting in Brazzaville, Congo to discuss how countries can strengthen human resources capacity to support universal health coverage in the African Region. The three-day event is attended by over 70 participants including Deans of medical, nursing and health sciences training institutions, development partners and professional associations.

    Addressing participants at the opening session, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo said: “Universal health coverage aims at ensuring that all people have access to quality health care without experiencing financial hardship. This is where the human resources role is crucial for both coverage and quality care.”

    The Regional Director observed that although some countries are making progress, much more needs to be done. At least one million new health workers are urgently needed in the African Region to ensure that qualified health workers are available in the right places to deliver quality health services. In addition to this, countries in the Region are grappling with weak education and training capacity, insufficient financial resources, lack of comprehensive data on health workers and information for decision making, among others.

    In response to these challenges, last year, Ministers of Health from the WHO African Region adopted the “Roadmap for scaling up human resources for health for improved health service delivery in the African Region 2012-2025”.  The Roadmap recommends priority actions in six key areas including strengthening the capacity of health workforce leadership and governance; strengthening regulatory capacity of human resources for health; scaling up education and training of health workers; optimizing the utilization, retention and performance of the active health workforce; improving health workforce information and evidence for decision-making and strengthening health workforce dialogue and partnerships.

    Dr Sambo called on Health ministries to take the lead and strengthen collaboration with other key Ministries such as education, finance, labour and employment, the private sector, universities, professional associations and other health stakeholders to institute appropriate mechanisms in order to optimize synergies and prevent fragmentation. “Such mechanisms should allow the development of common definitions and approaches for policy dialogue and actions”, he added.

    It is expected that participants will deliberate on how to implement the framework for the Roadmap and a business plan for Afritex- a regional initiative that seeks to make relevant textbooks, learning materials and diagnostic equipment affordable and accessible to countries.

     For more information, please contact: 

    Dr. Djona Avocksouma, +47-241-39174 ; Email: avocksoumaa [at]


    Mr C. Boakye-Agyemang +47-241-39420;  E-mail: Boakyec [at]

    Advocacy, Resource Mobilization and Partnership

    In area of Advocacy, Resource Mobilization and Partnership, focus is on promoting partnership and networking at country and regional levels, including strengthening the institutional infrastructure in countries and financing of HR development.

    This is accomplished through:

    • Advocating for improvement of workforce at regional and national level

    • Supporting regional networking of stakeholders for dialogue on effective strategies to address the HRH crisis in the region

    • Mobilising financial resources for HRH development at regional, inter-country and national level.

    • Establishing a network of a key pool of experts in HRH development

    • Supporting the strengthening of regional training institutions and WHO Collaborating Centres.

    • Supporting African HRH Platform and its Steering Committee activities

    • Establishing intra- and inter-divisional collaboration on key health workforce issues.

    Health Sciences Education Systems including Medical Education

    In teh area of Health Sciences Education Systems Including Medical Education, focus is on supporting countries for strengthening national education systems, including schools and universities, to support production of all types of health workers, with appropriate skills and competencies through:

    • Supporting the evaluation of training programmes in terms of relevance and capacity for scaling up production of HWs

    • Supporting the strengthening of accreditation mechanisms in countries

    • Supporting the reforming of health sciences training programmes and curricula

    • Supporting the introduction of innovative training methods such as distance learning

    • Supporting the strengthening of training capacity in countries in terms of training of trainers, teaching equipment and materials, infrastructure investment and development.

    • Supporting networking and twinning of training institutions, WHO Collaborating Centres and exchange of expertise within and outside the region

    • Supporting national continuing education processes

    • Strengthening the strategic management of fellowships.

    Human Resource Intelligence

    In the area of Human Resource Intelligence, focus is on contributing to the generation of human resources intelligence, through HR information systems and research including the establishment of national and regional observatories for evidence based policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation through:

    • Establishing and maintaining the regional observatory

    • Supporting countries for establishment of national observatories

    • Supporting the research on HRH key issues in countries

    • Maintaining the HRH Web site

    • Supporting countries to strengthen HRH information system in the context of Health Information Systems

    • Collating and disseminating promising practices in HRH development

    • Supporting monitoring and evaluation of HRH development and implementation in countries.

    Management of the Health Workforce

    In the area of Management of the Health Workforce, the focus is on supporting countries to promote effective management of health workforce, and create a conducive workplace environment, including recruitment, distribution, motivation and retention strategies through:

    • Supporting countries to implement effective HR management practices for recruitment and utilisation of health workers

    • Supporting the development and implementation of motivation and retention strategies including working conditions, remuneration, monetary and non-monetary incentives

    • Designing evidence based mechanism for managing of internal and international migration

    • Designing evidence based mechanism for managing of internal and international migration

    • Supporting the improvement of performance of existing health workers.

    • Contributing to the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Health Personnel