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This Week's News 11-15 January 2010


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This Week's News
11-15 January 2010

Weekly news clippings service featuring articles on the Global Health Workforce Alliance and selection of articles from around the world on the issue of the health workforce crisis





The Global Health Workforce Alliance ¦ Africa & Middle East ¦


Asia & Pacific ¦ North America ¦ Europe ¦ Latin America & Caribbean ¦ News from WHO and partners

This compilation is for your information only and should not be redistributed



Global Health Workforce Alliance

Date

Headline


Publication

08.11.09

Western countries have a moral responsibility



Global Medicine, The Netherlands

15.01.10

BBC WORLD NEWS TO BROADCAST FILM ON HEALTH WORKER SHORTAGES


The Alliance

Africa & Middle East




Date

Headline


Publication

11.01.10

AFRICA: Task-shifting, new technology crucial to ending mother-to-child transmission



Plus News

09.01.10

Health Workers Protest Over Governing Board For Training Institute


Leadership, Nigeria

07.01.10

Several Health Workers Receive Flowers in Nimba 


The Informer, Liberia

07.01.10

Nebbi woos health workers with incentives 


New Vision, Uganda

11.01.10

OPD attendance at Dangbe East District Hospital shoots up


Ghana News Agency

11.01.10

Mukono health unit appeals for more staff


New Vision, Uganda

12.01.10

Health workers to be sensitized on tropical diseases


Ghana News Services

13.01.10

Nurses, HSB clash over salaries


The Herald, Zimbabwe

11.01.10

Rééducation et réinsertion : Le détenu sort de... l’ombre


El Moudjahid, Algeria

12.01.10

H1N1 jab ready for health workers



The National, UAE



Asia & Pacific


Date

Headline


Publication

10.01.10

Healthcare, construction top job sources



Manila Bulletin

10.01.10

Engaging the local stakeholders in health sector 



New Nation, Bangladesh

11.01.10

Utilisation of drugs to be doubled in two years: Ghulam Nabi Azad



Daily News & Analysis, India

27.12.09

Reform: We need changes to improve the island's health-care system



Pacific Daily News

07.01.10

Editorial: Rule change plays into NZ doctors' hands 



New Zealand Herald

08.01.10

Staff, drug issues are ongoing problem, says hospital chief 



Solomon Star

08.01.10

Doctors in Aussie issue to be raised 



New Zealand Herald



North America


Date

Headline


Publication

09.01.10

Stand up and be counted

S. Bernandino Sun, CA

22.12.09

Increasing Access to Surgical Services in Sub-Saharan Africa: Priorities for National and International Agencies Recommended by the Bellagio Essential Surgery Group 



PLoS Medicine

11.01.10

Physician offices projected to see a decade of significant job growth



American Medical News

11.01.10

Loebsack views end-of-life care as necessity in health bill 



The Hawk Eye, Iowa

11.01.10

Where are the jobs? Try health care



St. Petersburg Times, FL

07.01.10

Are Doctors Ready for Virtual Visits? 



New York Times

11.01.10

Working with the Taliban?



New York Times

12.01.10

Goldstein: New Jersey needs a few good ideas to avoid a shortage of doctors



NewsRoom, NJ

12.01.10

Army therapists understaffed 



Temple Daily Telegram

09.01.10

Providing hope amid despair 

Windsor Star, Canada



Europe


Date

Headline


Publication

11.01.10

Doctors and nurses could see careers 'ended unfairly by ISA'



The Telegraph, UK

11.01.10

We’ll miss the Queen Mother’s 



Glasgow Evening Times, UK

08.01.10

Long term care for the elderly and disabled in the US should focus on community services 



BMJ, UK

13.01.10

PERPIGNAN Un conseiller de Nicolas Sarkozy recevra les délégués syndicaux de l'hôpital



L’Indépendant, France

12.01.10

Les établissements déficitaires suppriment des centaines de postes

Les Echos, France


Latin America & Caribbean


Date

Headline


Publication

09.01.10

Impulsa SSA capacitación en cuidados paleativos 



El Financiero, Mexico

10.01.10

Preocupa carencia de médicos aquí 



Diario de El Paso, Mexico

12.01.10

Médicos de Maracanaú rejeitam proposta do PCCS



Vermelho, Brazil

12.01.10

Consejos comunales toman ambulatorio en San Félix



El Universal, Venezuela

12.01.10

EN CUESTIONES DE SALUD, LO BARATO SALE CARO



Última Hora, Paraguay

10.01.10

No todo lo que brilla



Noticas y Protagonistas, Argentina

08.01.10

Clínicas redujo 127 camas por falta de personal



Última Hora, Paraguay

06.01.10

Enfermeras, con poco reconocimiento



Diario Xalapa, Mexico

News from WHO and partners


Date

Headline


Publication

13.01.10

WHO spearheads health response to earthquake in Haiti



WHO

12.09

International Migrants Day 2009 



ICMH

13.01.10

Earthquake in Haiti: UNFPA Concerned Over Critical Situation for Women



UNFPA


Global Health Workforce Alliance


Western countries have a moral responsibility

Global Medicine, The Netherlands

08/11/2009
Rik Viergever, Lisanne Denneman and Marjolijn Paauwe
Dr. Mubashar Sheikh is executive director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA). In April this year he visited the Netherlands to join the 'Wemos' World Health Day' event and to discuss the human resource crisis with Dutch parlementarians and NGOs. Before the event the Global Medicine team had the chance to ask him some questions about the human resource crisis
Could you explain something about the different strategies being implemented to prevent brain drain?
Western countries are recruiting and attracting people from the south, where there’s already a shortage of skilled people. This causes a double negative impact on developing countries: they are underproducing and on top of that they are losing highly skilled people. This creates ethical problems and decreased access to care. Everyone has the right to migrate, but rich countries have a moral responsibility as well. They have to limit the number of health workers moving from the poor part of the world to their countries and they should invest more in domestic training and education; they need to be self-sufficient. The problem is that it is cheaper to attract people from developing countries. On the short term, northern co untries can help poor countries with training more health workers, expanding the infrastructure and improving the access to health care. Finally,

a global code of practice of the movement of health workers is being developed to manage the problem.


In earlier interviews you have emphasized the importance of focusing efforts on health care workers in general, not only on doctors and nurses. Could you explain why this is important?
Besides doctors and nurses, a lot of other health personnel is needed, such as public health workers, technologists, researchers, managers and economists. It takes a lot of time and money to train a doctor, so it is important to focus on all health workers. It is possible to shift tasks without losing quality, for example the distribution of medicines or prevention tasks. We need to fill the gap by training other types of health workers, such as midwives.
After policy guidelines are designed in an international context, how are policies implemented at the national or regional level?
The policy is based on a common agreement by all the parties involved: donors, the rich countries, the poor countries, civil society and the private sector. In our experience, countries are willing to implement these policy guidelines. However, the approach should be country specific because of internal differences. The local government is responsible for acting, for example by influencing the push and pull factors.
Are you happy with the outcomes of the G20?
Fortunately, at the G20 it turned out that world leaders are still committed to aid for health care. The health sector in poor countries is highly dependent on foreign aid as 60-70% of the money for health care in these countries comes from donors. If the financial crisis becomes bigger, it can have an adverse impact on the health sector. In contrast, the number of poor and diseased people increases. So this is the right time to increase investment in the health sector.
Brazil is seen as an example to the world in its primary health care approach. What are the most important reasons of this success?
In Brazil, an approach was started with respect to primary health care in rural areas. They introduced new categories of health workers, for example family teams, and they linked those to the nearest health care facilities. The results are very positive. Brazil is a real success story from which other countries can learn a lot.
Rich countries should be self-sufficient
Our readers are all medical students with a keen interest for global health. What would we have to do to be in your shoes in 30 years?
It is very important for medical graduates to gain experience through internships, for example. It might be hard to combine clinical medicine and public health, but it gives you a much broader scope and career opportunities. However, my children do not believe that I am a medical doctor because I am not involved in clinical work. That is the downside of becoming a medical doctor without clinical practicing.

2

BBC WORLD NEWS TO BROADCAST FILM ON HEALTH WORKER SHORTAGES

The Alliance

15/01/2010
GENEVA, 15 January 2010 | Award winning BBC World News documentary series "Kill or Cure", produced by Rockhopper TV, will broadcast a new documentary "Doctors and Nurses" featuring struggles of health workers in both developed and developing countries.
The film portrays a real-life journey of Dr Brian Kubwalo, a Malawian doctor working in Manchester, UK, who embarks on a personal quest to find out whether he should go back to his native Malawi, where his skills are sorely missed, or stay in Manchester, where he can provide better future for his children.
Zooming on constraints such as heavy workload and low wages for health workers in countries such as Malawi and Pakistan, the film also raises alarm bells on a true global nature of health worker shortages that are experienced in developed countries, such as the UK as well.
In the film Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance, explains about the need to invest more in health workforce to manage retention and migration of vitally needed trained personnel in order to resolve this global crisis. "It is critical that the countries that are facing shortages of health workers invest more and produce more health workers to create an environment where the health workers can stay," says Dr Sheikh in the film.
The film "Doctors and Nurses" will be broadcast by BBC World News on 19-22 January 2010, at following times in GMT:
19 January, 20:30

20 January, 11:30 (Asia Pacific only)

20 January, 15:30

22 January, 02:30

You can watch a short version of the film at http://rockhopper.tv/programmes/306. The film can also be seen on the Alliance YouTube channel after its broadcast by the BBC World News. If you wish to use the film for information, education or advocacy purposes, you can request for DVD copies, by writing to ghwa@who.int.

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Africa & Middle East

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AFRICA: Task-shifting, new technology crucial to ending mother-to-child transmission
Plus News

11/01/2010


NAIROBI, 11 January 2010 (PlusNews) - Unconventional health workers and new technologies will be a vital part of the ongoing effort to "virtually eliminate" mother-to-child transmission of HIV, says Michél Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS.
"We cannot wait for the highest cadre of health professionals to be trained before expanding our capacity to prevent mother-to-child transmission," he told a press conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. "We have to tap into non-conventional capacity to help expand access to health services."
Sidibé and Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, have just concluded a visit to the Millennium Village in Sauri, western Kenya, to assess the progress of a joint effort by UNAIDS and the Millennium Villages Project to strengthen PMTCT services at the village level, creating "MTCT-free zones".
The collaboration, launched in September 2009, aims to "virtually eliminate" mother-to-child transmission in 14 Millennium Villages across 10 African countries using the existing infrastructure, human capacity and technical resources in the villages to help rapidly expand family- and community-centred heath services.
"While in Sauri, we witnessed the very efficient use of limited resources, such as SMSs [short message service] being used to identify and help people in need of medical services," Sidibé added. "We will need a combination of such new technologies and task-shifting, where people are equipped with basic health-provision skills, to rapidly scale up PMTCT efforts."

An ongoing study into the effectiveness of mobile phone technology in the health management of people receiving ARV medication in Kenya has found that the use of SMS communication between patients and health service providers was both acceptable and significantly cheaper than paying for transport to travel to clinics for physical visits.


According to Sachs, the use of community health workers would also be critical in achieving the Millennium Development Goals relating to PMTCT: Goal 4, to reduce child mortality, Goal 5, to improve maternal health, and Goal 6, to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.
"We are seeing, for example, the incorporation of traditional birth attendants into the PMTCT effort becoming part of the push for the proper application of medicine," he said. "In India, there is now a three-and-a-half year medical degree because they have recognized the need to accelerate the training to raise their human resource potential."
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV remains a leading cause of death among infants and young children in sub-Saharan Africa; in 2008, 390,000 infants in the region became infected with HIV from their mothers.

2

Health Workers Protest Over Governing Board For Training Institute
Leadership, Nigeria

09/01/2010


Written by By Osa Okhomin, Yenagoa
Health workers in Bayelsa State, yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the continued delay of the state governor, Chief Timipre Sylva to constitute a governing board for the State College of Technology, Otuogidi in Ogbia local government area of the state, saying the delay has hampered the training of personnel and development of the health sector of the state.
In a letter written under the aegis of the Medical and Health Workers' Union to the state House of Assembly and the state governor, the health workers said though many promises had been made by the governor and the state commissioner of Health, Dr. Azibabu Eruani, the institution has witnessed poor infrastructural growth, lack of permanent staff, substandard renovations and poor development plan due to a non-existent governing council.
The Medical and Health Workers' Union, in the letter made available to Leadership Weekend in Yenagoa yesterday and signed by state chairman, Orugbani Ikadoi, the vice chairman, Suama Promise and the secretary, Solomon Ovoh, insisted that an appreciable infrastructural and educational development would not take place in the health training institute if the governing board is not set as mandated by the law enacted by the State House of Assembly five years ago.
The letter stated that the college commenced operation in 2004 and was established by a law passed by the state House of Assembly in 2005 to train primary and secondary health care workers as a backbone to proper health care delivery in the state." The laudable role saddled with the institution has been relegated to the background.
"It will surprise you to know that barely five years of existence; this great institution is without a governing council which is the major administrative organ for proper academic and non-academic activities as stated by the college law. It has given rise to a worrisome dimension of understaffing, existence of casual staff as against state principle, and no capital projects have been done in the institution. Substandard renovation works exist and inadequate classroom blocks have taken over.
"Is it that the college is no longer needed by the state? We have had our hope raised at different occasions by the governor on his regular radio programme – Relax with Gov. Sylva. Surprisingly, nothing has been done up to date."
The health workers queried the parameters used by the state government to deny the institution a governing council while putting in place, boards for the administration of the state post primary schools board, Local Government Universal Basic Authority, State Universal Basic Authority Board.
The workers called on the state government to come up with a decision because such constitution of a governing council will lead to positive steps for the health sector. “All casual staff will then be regularised and capital funds meant for the college will be released for the development of the college. The students of the college will then be considered for bursary like other indigenous students of the state in other higher institutions."
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