11-15 November 2007

Health Care Professionals (HCP) Workshop

Health Care Professionals meet in Malawi

11 November 2007 Blantyre - Health care professionals from Africa have responded to a "call to action" at a workshop in Blantyre, Malawi bringing together participants from several countries in Africa as well as counterparts worldwide.

Minister of Health of Malawi and Dr Francisco Songane
Esther Obinya, UNICEF; Hon. Marjorie Ngaunje, Minister of Health, Malawi, Dr F. Songane, Director PMNCH, Chisale Mhango, Ministry of Health, Malawi

The workshop, The Health Care Professional Associations (HCAP) Role in Achieving MDGs 4 and 5 has brought together 56 participants, including members of professional health care associations and the public health sector from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda as well as representatives from international and regional associations and agencies based in Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

Dr Songane, Director of the PMNCH, set the tone for the workshop at its opening session on Sunday evening, outlining current MNCH issues and their relation to HCPA's and calling the participants for action. This call for action was reinforced in the welcome address, given by Honorable, Minister of Health of Malawi, Dr Marjorie Ngaunje, who noted personal experience and personal commitment to convey the urgency of the need for action on the part of the HCPAs. "In the Africa region," said Dr Ngaunje, "maternal and child health is an area of great concern firstly because it is a human rights issue and secondly because it is central to development."

Engagement and interaction were the order of the day as participants gave presentations and spoke on panels about the role of HCPAs as advocates and the role of HCPAs in the development of One MNCH plan. "I can assure you that this is the first time that the Health Care Professionals for all of the sectors are coming together and ensure you that we will deliver," said one participant, Mrs Okoli, Chief Nursing Officer in charge Anaesthetic Unit, General Hospital Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria - Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.

The remainder of the workshop will focus on discussions on the role of HCPAs in: quality improvement, the human resources crisis and organizational strengthening. Group work leading to the development of concrete action plans by groups of country participants are planned for later in the week.

Final report