Re-engineering the Health Workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) largely depends on the availability of a skilled, equipped and adequately supported health workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as disease outbreaks such as Ebola, have delayed UHC progress and left a strain on the health system. Africa’s socio-economic success post pandemic is anchored in the recovery of its health system, which relies on the health workforce. There is therefore an urgent need to comprehensively resolve the health workforce crisis which continues to plague the African continent.
HRH is one of the core building blocks of a health system and has two essential components: Human Resources Development (HRD) and Human Resources Management (HRM). These two components manage the life of a health worker from training to employment and exit from active engagement. The… Read More
Amref Health Africa’s Position Statement on Strengthening HRH in Kenya
Kenya’s Health Sector Strategic focus is grounded in the principles of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Vision 2030, the President’s Big 4 Agenda, and global commitments. The Constitution guarantees the right to health and provides for health services management through a devolved system of Governance. The Social Pillar for the Vision 2030 stipulates that to improve the overall livelihoods of Kenyans, the country has to achieve an efficient and high-quality health care system. This is reinforced by the efforts to attain universal health coverage (UHC) – which is a critical Pillar within the President’s Big 4 Agenda. The Ministry of Health’s human resource for health commitments signed at third global Human Resource for Health (HRH) forum (2013) in Brazil include:
• Devolving the Human Resource for Health Interagency Coordinating Committee… Read More
Clarion Call for Africa to meet at the Middle in the Malaria Vaccine Introduction
As the world battled with COVID-19, to the African region, this was the latest in a long list of infectious diseases crippling its health systems. A recent WHO report notes that out of all the 215 million malaria cases reported globally in 2019, 94% were from sub-Saharan Africa. Half of the infections in Africa were concentrated in five countries where malaria is endemic. What this implies is that Africa cannot yet join the rest of the world in celebrating the sustained reduction of malaria cases witnessed in the last two decades.
Malaria still, severely, impacts life and health in Africa and remains one of the continent’s biggest killers. It is estimated that four out of 10 pregnant women are exposed to the malaria parasite, leading to maternal deaths, underweight children,… Read More
Amref Health Africa Statement During the Commemoration of World Contraception Day
Reaching the Most Vulnerable with Contraception During the Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond.
Contraception use is a key fundamental human right. Contraception is central in enhancing gender equality and empowerment of women, supporting girls to access education, and is key in the reduction of poverty. It plays a significant role in reducing maternal and child deaths, especially among adolescents and youth. Contraception is an excellent way of preventing unplanned pregnancies, averting health risks associated with unwanted pregnancies such as poor pregnancy outcomes including maternal deaths and unsafe abortions1
It is estimated that 75.7% of women of reproductive age in the world had their family planning needs met by 2019. However, in Sub Sahara Africa, uptake of contraception is still low, with less than half of family planning needs being… Read More
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula Statement, 23 May 2021
Obstetric fistula (OF) is a devastating childbirth-related disability affecting mainly poor women in low resource regions. Often, women develop this debilitating condition as a result of poor management or lack of management during labour. The women are ostracized by their families and communities due to the resultant smell from dribbling urine and/or leakage of stool. Though the prevalence of obstetric fistula is not well known, it is estimated that two million women in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia live with this condition and this number grows by 50,000 to 100, 000 each year (World health organization, 2018).
This year’s theme “Women’s rights are human rights! End fistula now” was a reminder that OF is preventable. OF is the hallmark of health system failure and an absolute denial of a woman’s human… Read More
Amref Health Africa Global Statement on COVID-19 Tools including Vaccine Equity
COVID-19 has, undeniably, devastated the global economy, resulted in the loss of millions of lives, and immensely interrupted people’s ways of living across the world. IMF estimates a collapse in economic growth in many African countries due to a decline in key sectors such as tourism as a result of travel restrictions and public health measures especially lockdowns. Reopening Africa’s economy relies on substantial control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Control of the pandemic depends on a combination of personal and collective public health measures, strengthening of health systems and attaining COVID-19 vaccination targets. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention set this target at 60%. However, Africa is currently projected to reach its target in 2023; the rest of the world will reach 60-80% in 2022 (U.S., Canada, and… Read More
Amref Health Africa’s Position on the Role and Services of Traditional Birth Attendants
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a traditional birth attendant (TBA) is “a person who assists the mother during childbirth and who initially acquired her skills by delivering babies herself or by working with other TBAs”. In addition to attending deliveries, TBAs help with initiating breastfeeding; providing health education on sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs), reproductive health and nutrition; visiting mothers during and shortly following delivery to check for and educate them on the associated danger signs; and accompanying referrals to the health facilities for complicated deliveries.
Throughout history, traditional birth attendants have been the main health care providers for women during childbirth in Africa. They attend to the majority of deliveries in the rural areas of developing countries.
TBAs are highly respected in African communities. They perform cultural rituals… Read More
Amref Health Africa’s Position Statement on Task Shifting
In recent years, the world has been experiencing a chronic shortage of well-trained health workers. A total of 57 countries, 36 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa but also including Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, face crippling health workforce shortages. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 4 million health workers are needed to fill the gap. The global deficit of doctors, nurses and midwives is at least 2.4 million worldwide, and 1 million in sub-Saharan African.
Reasons for the rapidly deteriorating state of qualified staffing in health services include lack of training capacity and poor remuneration, discouraging many who would otherwise have entered the profession and forcing many others to relocate to countries where they are paid more for their services – perpetuating the ‘in and out country brain… Read More