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Looking Back and Encouraged to Press On for the Health Workforce in Africa

Patrick Kyalo and Doris MwareyThe Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) Human Resources for Health Technical Working Group (HRH TWG) serves as a technical reference group on HRH issues identified as key and common among Christian Health Associations. It was set up in 2007, supported by IMA World Health and the USAID-funded CapacityPlus project until June 2014. IMA World Health continues to provide support.

IMA World Health sponsored a dinner meeting for the ACHAP HRH TWG on February 24, 2015, in Nairobi during the 7th ACHAP Biennial Conference, providing a good opportunity for the TWG to reflect on its activities over the last two years.

Participants included representatives from Lesotho, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Malawi as well as other invited representatives including the ACHAP board chair Mrs. Karen Sichinga, IMA World Health President and CEO Rick Santos, and the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) Executive Director Dr. Mwai Makoka. Key among the major highlights for the day included a background on the history of the TWG and updates on the TWG Chair Mr. Samuel Nugblega’s October 2014 visit to the USA, where he represented ACHAP and the TWG at a CapacityPlus event on the role of African faith-based organizations (FBOs) in strengthening the health workforce. Read more »

Botswana Is Building a Strong Health System by Focusing on Health Workers

“I have a passion to help sick people,” says Oteng Gaopatwe, a nurse at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital in Francistown, Botswana. “One thing I like most about my job is to see my clients satisfied, having a smile, and seeing all the people I have helped being relieved of their pain.”

Frontline health workers like Oteng are the backbone of health systems. In order to plan effectively for training, recruitment, and retention, countries need access to current, up-to-date information about their health workforce. Read more »

What’s So Rosy about Garden City?

Carol BalesThe walls. They’re the first thing you notice when you arrive at Garden City University College, a small school in Kumasi, Ghana. They’re painted a pale mauve. During the magic hour, when the sun’s low and red, the building and everyone in it glows.

The women who lead it. We’d come to document the school’s progress toward its goal of graduating more health workers, and we had hours of interviews lined up. Garden City’s leaders are stepping up to help address the country’s shortage of health workers. Ghana has fewer than half the minimum number of doctors, nurses, and midwives recommended by the World Health Organization to provide adequate access to health care.

So school leaders are using CapacityPlus tools to improve school management and identify cost-effective ways to educate more health workers. And we couldn’t help but notice that many of those leaders we met—from the new acting president to the dean of students—were powerful women who #MakeItHappen. Read more »

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