IntraHealth International Inc.(IntraHealth)

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
12.3 Human resources for health

IntraHealth International—which has worked to strengthen the local frontline health workforces in more than 100 countries in the last 40 years—supported by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, for which we lead the secretariat, applauds the increased attention Member States and the WHO have devoted to the most acute issues facing the global health workforce, as evidenced by national reporting on the Global Code of Practice and the report on progress toward implementation of the Workforce 2030 strategy.

The effort to streamline and simplify international recruitment of health personnel data and reporting processes is much needed and commended. Accurate reporting on access to teams of frontline health workers is crucial to the Member States’ efforts to meet the goals set forth.

We note with concern that many countries that have been identified as having critical gaps in access to trained and supported health workers have not submitted national reports. We request that Member States that have not yet identified a Designated National Authority swiftly do so and that WHO support such states so an accurate picture of access to health workers can be analyzed and deficiencies addressed.

In addition, barriers to women’s participation in the health workforce must be specifically addressed and removed. Female health workers face discrimination, low or no pay, sexual harassment, and devaluation. If we are to avert a crisis in access to the teams of health workers who are able to deliver essential health services, gender inequality in the health workforce must be eliminated.

Finally, the WHO, in its ongoing data-collection efforts, must ensure all cadres of health workers are included in reports, including community health workers. Data for all cadres must be available so policymakers have accurate information to address gaps in access and provide a reference point on the path to health for all.