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Namibia and WHO launch Health workforce Investment Charter for Africa

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This photo taken on May 21, 2023 shows the logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the WHO headquarters in the background in Geneva, Switzerland. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)
World Health Organization (WHO)

The Namibian government, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), unveiled the African Health Workforce Investment Charter on Monday at the inaugural Africa Health Workforce Investment Forum held in Windhoek.

The charter’s launch signified a coordinated effort to bolster investments in health workforce education, employment and retention, with a specific focus on reducing disparities and enhancing health outcomes, particularly in underserved regions.

Attended by about 170 delegates, including ministers of health, labor and finance from 18 African countries, the forum commenced with an opening address by Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

“Africa faces numerous health workforce challenges, ranging from shortages of trained professionals to issues of retention and distribution,” she said, stressing the invaluable contributions of health workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing their sacrifices and dedication to public health.

Speaking at the same event, Jean Kaseya, director general of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called for collaborative action, urging participants to embrace innovative solutions and partnerships.

According to Kaseya, while sub-Saharan Africa accounts for about 24 percent of the global disease burden, it is home to only three percent of the world’s health workers.

The launch of the African Health Workforce Investment Charter meanwhile marked a significant step toward addressing the critical needs of healthcare workers and improving health outcomes across Africa.

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