Examining the Critical Link between Health Workers and Millennium Development Goal 6

The global health workforce shortage is a critical obstacle to reaching the goal of universal access to HIV/AIDS services. On June 9, CapacityPlus’s Wanda Jaskiewicz participated in the side event “Can MDG 6 be achieved with the health workforce we have?” at the United Nations General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York.

Health worker in KenyaThe panel discussion on the critical link between human resources for health and the Millennium Development Goal to combat HIV/AIDS included heads of state and representatives from donor and international organizations, civil society, and the private sector. The event was sponsored by the Global Health Workforce Alliance with the Government of Brazil, Commonwealth Secretariat, African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), and UNAIDS.

Keynote speakers included Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita of Djibouti, who described his country’s health workforce situation and its effect on the AIDS pandemic, and Maxensia Nakibuuka, a Ugandan community health worker, who stressed the need for recognition and support of her cadre to assist in the health sector’s response to HIV/AIDS.

Joining panelists Dr. John Palen, Mphu Ramatlapeng, and Jarbas Barbosa were two members of CapacityPlus’s Global Advisory Board on Strengthening Medical, Nursing, and Public Health Schools in Developing Countries: Dr. Sigrun Møgedal, former ambassador, HIV/AIDS and global health initiatives in Norway; and Michael J. Bzdak, director of corporate contributions, Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Møgedal briefed the audience on the Global Health Workforce Alliance-commissioned report from the Task Force on Human Resources for Universal Access. The report includes findings from the multicountry situational analysis facilitated by IntraHealth International. Bzdak presented Johnson & Johnson’s approach to building leadership and management capacity in the health sector and brought attention to CapacityPlus’s case studies on private-sector health professional training schools.

As a result of the High Level Meeting on AIDS, the UN General Assembly has adopted the Political declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS

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Photo by Trevor Snapp. (Health worker in Kenya)