This year World Health Worker Week was April 4 - 8, 2022, and the theme was Build the Health Workforce Back Better. It's the tenth year in a row the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners came together to celebrate frontline health workers and elevate their voices, roles, and needs.
See below our top policy recommendations, activities, and events that pushed donors, governments, and health leaders to do more to support the future health workforce, including making long-term investments and policies to better train, deploy, equip, protect, retain, and support frontline health workers, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Key Activities for World Health Worker Week 2022
Add your voice to our video campaign through the end of April 2022. Film a short video of yourself, saying “Build the Health Workforce Back Better means ____.” Read this guidance for more info and upload your video here.
Hold a meeting with your policymakers. For example, our member Global Health Council teamed up with government advisors at Kyle House Group to host a private briefing for US Congressional members and their staff on April 6 at 11 am ET. Speakers from the Global Financing Facility and IntraHealth discussed the importance of US government investment in health workers in low- and middle-income countries and potential avenues for effective programming, including recommendations for a White House Health Workforce Initiative.
Amplify health worker stories and voices, like this video portrait of Margaret Odera, a community health worker, mom, singer, advocate, and more. It shows frontline health workers are whole human beings who deserve safe and decent work, and fair and timely pay. We're excited the WHO shortlisted this video for its Health for All Film Festival. The WHO is encouraging the public to comment on its final selection using #Film4Health and will feature some comments during an awards ceremony in May, so please like and meaningfully comment on YouTube!
Watch these key World Health Worker Week Events
Monday, April 4, at 8 am ET | 2 pm CEST: Investing in Competency-Based Education for UHC
Progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) requires strong health systems and health workers who are educated and empowered to provide the health services that meet population health needs. With this webinar, WHO launches its Global Competency and Outcomes Framework towards UHC. In so doing, the WHO sets out its recommended approach to competency-based education of health workers, focusing on those competencies and other education outcomes for health workers in primary health care with a pre-service training pathway of 12-48 months.
Speakers: Jim Campbell of the Health Workforce Department at the WHO, Siobhan Fitzpatrick of the WHO, Address Mauakowa Malata of Malawi University of Science and Technology, and Rajeev Sadanandan of Health System Transformation Platform
- Tuesday, April 5, at 9 am ET | 4 pm EAT: Health Workers Matter for Global Health Security: Here's Why
IntraHealth International and a panel of experts explored how we can better prepare for future pandemics and increase our global health security by investing in and supporting health workers around the world. Speakers include the leads for global health security at USAID and Africa CDC, a community health worker, and country level implementers.
Speakers: Denis Ako-Arrey of IntraHealth International; Polly Dunford of IntraHealth; Richard Greene of USAID; Janet Muriuki of IntraHealth; Margaret Odera, a community health worker in Kenya; and Ahmed Ogwell Ouma of Africa CDC
Wednesday, April 6, at 12:30 pm ET | 7 pm EAT: After the Final Wave: Nurturing the Health Workforce We Need
This event began with a preview of The First Wave, a documentary film that spotlights health workers in one of New York's hardest hit hospitals during the first four months of the pandemic. Then speakers, including health workers, discussed how we can—and must—nurture and build our respective health workforces and create a more equitable health care system for all. Note this event is part of the official Skoll World Forum.
Speakers: Nancy Messonnier of Pandemic Prevention and Health Systems; John Nkengasong of Africa CDC; Raj Panjabi of the White House National Security Council; Ibe Isael Martir, a community liaison in El Salvador; Nathalie Douge, an internal medicine specialist; and J. Corey Feist of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation
Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 am ET: COVID-19 Clinical Updates for Global Practice: COVID Diagnostics & Exploring Test and Treat
This webinar provided clinicians and implementing partners with the latest information on diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and then linked diagnostics to the strategy known as ‘Test and Treat’. Participants gained understanding of the pros and cons of different diagnostic tools, as well as a conceptual framework for applying the concepts of ‘Test and Treat’ in the context of COVID-19. Recording coming soon.
Speakers: Magelda Montoya Cruz, Moses Bateganya of FHI 360, Anicet Dahourou of FHI 360, Prashant Singh of Jhpiego, and Kate Douglass of George Washington University (moderator)
Thursday, April 7, at 8 am ET: Subsidizing global health: Women’s unpaid work in health systems
Despite being the majority in the profession, women in the health sector are paid 23% less than their male counterparts and millions of women are working unpaid or grossly underpaid in core health systems roles. Against this backdrop, Women in Global Health, in collaboration with the Frontline Health Worker Coalition, held a high-level event to launch WGH’s latest policy report, Subsidizing global health: Women’s unpaid work in health systems.
Speakers: Desta Lakew, Amref Africa; Dr. Magda Robalo, Managing Director, Women in Global Health; Ann Keeling, Senior Fellow, Women in Global Health; Linda Etim, Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Development, Global Health, and Humanitarian Response, USAID; Euniter Adoyo, Community Health Worker, Kenya; Dr. Svea Closser, Johns Hopkins University; Sandra Massiah, Public Services International; and Bhanupriya Rao, Behanbox India
Thursday, April 7, at 9 am ET: Community Health Worker Voices on UHC
This event—the first of a series of quarterly CHW dialogues—brought together CHWs from across sub-Saharan Africa in a knowledge-sharing conversation on what universal health coverage (UHC) looks like to them, how new policies have impacted their day-to-day work, and the impact of COVID on their ability to deliver essential health services. Read the highlights and watch the recording on Zoom.
Thursday, April 7, at 10 am ET | 2 pm GMT: How can we build the most supported, strongest health workforce ever?
Join the Center for Health Worker Innovation for an exclusive Linked In Live Stream. ChunMei Li of Johnson & Johnson hosts David Bryden and Dyuti Sen of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition to share how the coalition is caring for frontline health workers like they care for us. Watch the recording on Linked In.
Friday, April 8, at 8 am ET | 1 pm BST | 2 pm CAT: Africa Leads the Way: A Compact for a 21st Century Health Workforce
Please join the African Union (AU), the Africa CDC, Seed Global Health, and Amref Health Africa at Skoll World Forum to launch the AU Health Workforce Task Team. Framed as a compact, the African-led framework will harmonize governments and partners towards a single vision that is jointly executed, ensure the critical longer timelines required for results in this sector, and create accountability and results through alignment of vision, resources, and comprehensive, dedicated measurement that defines equity and progress.
Speakers: Dr. John N. Nkengasong of Africa CDC; Dr. Githinji Gitahi of Amref Health Africa and the Africa COVID-19 Commission; Prof. Maha El Rabbat of Cairo University and the WHO; Dr. Vanessa Kerry of Seed Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Ama Pokuaa Fenny (moderator) of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economics Research, University of Ghana and the Africa COVID-19 Commission
Friday, April 8, at 8:30 am ET: Vaccinating the World: Can We Achieve It?
How will an already over-leveraged, burnt out workforce—largely unpaid or poorly paid—vaccinate 70% of the world by the middle of 2022? Watch this important discussion hosted by the Global AIDS Policy Partnership with speakers from PEPFAR, JSI, and CARE.
Friday, April 8, at 9 am ET | 1 pm GMT | 4 pm EAT: Localizing global health: A roadmap to resilient and equitable systems
Watch a conversation to unpack current unequal structures in funding for health and build concrete steps toward more equitable and inclusive partnerships. Recording forthcoming.
Speakers: Euridice Gatwiri, Community Health Volunteer in Kenya; Prof. Francis Omaswa of the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, Uganda; Desta Lakew of AMREF Health Africa; John Fairhurst of The Global Fund; Dr. Koku Awoonor, Former Ministry of Health, Government of Ghana; Dr. Abdulaziz Mohammed of Africa CDC; and Dr. Angela Gichaga of Financing Alliance for Health (Moderator)