Tell me more about the Frontline Health Workers Coalition.
The Frontline Health Workers Coalition represents a wealth of experience and expertise in improving health around the world. One of the most important lessons from across different sectors is the critical role that frontline health workers play, whether saving newborn lives, preventing and treating diseases such as AIDS or malaria, or teaching families proper nutrition and hygiene. This Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that these lessons and expertise are leveraged to shape the global health policies and programs of the world’s largest global health donor, the U.S. government. The Coalition believes a coordinated advocacy approach is crucial to 1) articulating a strong, unified voice in support of the development of a frontline health worker strategy and to 2) effectively monitor the full impact and implementation of that strategy.
The Frontline Health Workers Coalition is an action-oriented coalition of nongovernmental organizations or companies – both public and private – for coordinated U.S. advocacy. It strives to serve as both an advocate and technical support for the development of and implementation of a U.S. frontline health workforce strategy in developing countries through a range of planned advocacy activities..
Is part of the Coalition’s work to coordinate programming, technical expertise or advocacy in the developing world?
Who are the Coalition members and who can join?
Who do we contact for more information?
You say there is a shortage of at least 1 million frontline health workers in the developing worlD. Where did thIS figure come from?
Don’t the developing countries have a role in this?
Which countries should be targeted for investments in frontline health workers?
The Coalition is encouraging the U.S. government to help train and deploy frontline health workers in countries that have severe health workforce shortages and in which the U.S. is already making a substantial investment to improve health through its Global Health Initiative (GHI). From Bangladesh to Burundi, 18 of the 29 countries are categorized by WHO has having a severe health workforce shortage and are GHI priority countries (see website or Coalition Issue Brief for map of countries). The absolute expansion of the frontline health workforce should be accompanied by investments in health school capacity, health worker remuneration and retention, health worker productivity, and a strategic review of policy, skills and supply gaps that constrain their effectiveness.
What would be the elements of a U.S. health workforce strategy?
What works? What will it take to ensure success for frontline health worker programs?
We have a lot of evidence about what will make the biggest difference. The absolute expansion of the frontline health workforce should be accompanied by investments in health school capacity, health worker remuneration and retention, health worker productivity, and strategic review of policy, skills and supply gaps that constrain their effectiveness. The key steps are to:
- Encourage national leaders and other key stakeholders to give high priority to addressing health workforce shortages and inequities.
- Optimize “human resources for health” (HRH) policies, plans and management systems so that laws, regulations, budgets, plans and management are all helping to remedy the shortage of frontline health workers.
- Strengthen educational and training institutions so they can produce enough well-trained health workers. Similarly, in-service training should continually upgrade the competencies of health providers to effectively meet health needs in light of evolving epidemiology, growing knowledge, and changing technologies.
- Attract and retain health workers. Health workers should be motivated to stay in the under-served areas where they are most needed. Where possible, health workers should be recruited and trained locally. The U.S. also should promote evidence-based packages of financial and non-financial incentives to attracting and retaining workers where they are most needed.
- Foster gender equity in the health workforce. The majority of health workers are women, but gender discrimination often inhibits full use of their talents. The U.S. should promote gender equity in such areas as entry into health professional schools, opportunities for advancement, workplace climate, and other issues of human resources management.
- Establish a health financing strategy that includes covering recurrent costs of frontline health workers and staff upgrading.