HRH set to take centre stage at the 67th World Health Assembly

25 April 2014 - This is an exciting time in global health. The international community is making palpable progress in steering a direction for a contemporary human resources for health agenda towards universal health coverage that will be relevant to the post-2015 development agenda (2015-2030). The message at the 3rd Global Forum on HRH (November 2013) was loud and clear - human resources for health are central in translating the vision of universal health coverage into reality. Country representatives at the Forum adopted the ‘Recife Political Declaration on Human Resources for Health: renewed commitments towards universal health coverage’.

Achieving health equity and providing universal health coverage along with access to quality health care services requires a focused approach on investment in human resources for health. The momentum generated at the Forum is now being carried forward to the upcoming 67th World Health Assembly, which takes place in Geneva from 19 - 24 May 2014. The ‘Recife Political Declaration on Human Resources for Health is on the agenda at the Assembly. There are apparent health workforce implications in several of the agenda items and resolutions tabled for discussion/adoption. Palliative care, ageing, regulatory systems strengthening, equity in health are some agenda items with recommendations for Member states to accelerate investments in HRH. Countries will need to develop a capable, motivated and supported health workforce to respond to the Resolutions they adopt at the Assembly. HRH is also central to many of the side events being hosted by Member states of the World Health Organization (WHO):

Framing a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health - (Hosted by Norway; co-hosted by Japan) - 22nd May 2014 | 17.45 – 19.15 | Room: XII (12), Palais de Nations

The event will provide an update on general trends emerging from the global consultation on HRH in the post-2015 agenda, being coordinated by GHWA.
The event will also see the launch a new WHO book, Migration of health workers: The WHO Code of Practice and the Global Economic Crisis. The book provides a wide range of country examples of how countries are tackling the many complex issues involved in implementing the Code.

Universal health coverage starts at the grassroots – Are community health workers cost-effective? (Hosted by United Kingdom) - 23 May 2014 | 12:30-14:00 | Room: XV (15), Palais de Nations

Although several studies have demonstrated that community health workers can be effective in delivering essential health care, there has been little research on their cost-effectiveness; therefore, policy makers have been unable to make well-informed decisions concerning community health worker programmes. This side event will present and discuss the preliminary results of a ground-breaking study - funded by the UK Department of International Development, and coordinated by GHWA - on the cost-effectiveness of community health worker programmes implemented at scale in low- and middle-income countries. (Attendance to this event is by invitation only, please write to us at ghwa@who.int if you are attending the Assembly and would like to join us at the event)

Community Health Care – Bringing Healthcare to your door (Hosted by Bangladesh: co-hosted by Japan) - 23 May 2014 | 12:30-14:00 | Room: IX (9), Palais de Nations

Community health care (CHC) is central to integrated, people centred & quality service delivery. It is also vital to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Several Member States are implementing multiple pathways in their efforts to develop CHC. Bangladesh has taken action on community based service delivery through a large-scale systematic deployment of community health workers (CHWs), which has led to impressive improvements in health indicators. The event will review various country experiences on the roles of CHWs in delivering community health care.

The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO. It meets once a year and is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States. Its main function is to determine the policies of the Organization. It also appoints the Director-General and supervises the financial policies of the Organization.

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