THE World Health Organization (WHO) has said unless urgent action is taken to protect, support and expand the health workforce as a strategic priority, low and middle income countries may experince 10 milllion shortage of health workers by 2030.
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated this in his speech delivered in Abuja to mark the Agency’s 75 years of existence.
According to him, investments in education, skills and decent jobs for health need to be prioritized to meet the rapidly growing demand for health primarily in low- and middle-income countries.
He however added that despite all odds, there has been extraordinary progress in protecting people from diseases and destruction, including smallpox eradication, reducing the incidence of polio by 99%, saving millions of lives through childhood immunization, declines in maternal mortality and improving health and well-being for millions more over the past seven and a half decades.
“We have much to be proud of, but we still need much work to do to realize our founding vision of the highest attainable standard of health for all people. We continue to face vast inequities in access to health services, major gaps in the world’s defences against health emergencies, and threats from health harming products and the climate crisis. We can only meet these global challenges with global cooperation.”
The Director-General further noted that WHO has put in place global education programme on basic emergency care targeting 25% of nurses and midwives from 25 low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2025.
This 25x25x25 emergency care programme he added, will provide nurses and midwives with the skills and competencies to make a major difference in saving lives and reducing disabilities.
“WHO will continue to stand ready to support the countries of the world as they negotiate a pandemic accord, the revision of the International Health Regulations and other financial, governance and operational initiatives to prepare the world for future pandemics.