IntraHealth Commends Proposed Billion-Dollar Initiative for Health Workers, Calls on Congress to Enact It

IntraHealth International is joining our partners in the Frontline Health Workers Coalition in commending the White House for proposing $1 billion over five years for the global component of its Health Worker Initiative in its FY 23 Budget Proposal, released this week.

We join the coalition in calling on Congress to enact the initiative, while also providing a more substantive allocation for core global health funding and global pandemic preparedness investments. Such an approach would ensure strong, locally led, interconnected systems to end the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare for future emergencies.

“We are delighted to see that the White House has included this unprecedented, bold initiative for the global health workforce in its approach to pandemic preparedness,” says coalition director David Bryden, who serves as IntraHealth’s senior advisor for advocacy and policy. “The Administration clearly recognizes a key lesson from COVID-19, which is that unless the health workforce is well-supported and prepared, the response to an emergency will fall short and essential health services will falter."

Read: US Funding for Global Health Security Doesn’t Cover These Essential Systems for Health Workers—Yet

“We are also glad to see the proposal emphasizes the safety and security of health workers,” Bryden says. “The World Health Organization has confirmed more than 80 attacks on health care in Ukraine this year, as of March 30. Such attacks, which are also occurring in other places in conflict around the world, are unacceptable and are in violation of international humanitarian law."

The Administration’s proposals are consistent with many of the recommendations IntraHealth and other coalition members have made over the past year. Last week the coalition published a fact sheet explaining why a bold, new effort to strengthen the health workforce and the systems they rely on is urgently needed, in the lead up to next week’s World Health Worker Week.

The White House stated that the Health Worker Initiative would:

  • Expand the capacity of countries’ pre- and in-service education systems
  • Advance the safety and security of health workers
  • Support countries to develop and implement strategic plans to support health workers
  • Make human resources for health (HRH) data more widely available for all levels of decision-making and develop capacity for workforce planning and management
  • Ensure equity and women’s meaningful participation in the health workforce, including in global health security programming, and strengthen leadership opportunities for women
  • Promote fair remuneration and decent work, including for paraprofessionals and community health workers

Read the full statement from the Frontline Health Workers Coalition here.

IntraHealth International serves as the secretariat for the Frontline Health Workers Coalition.

Register now: Health Workers Count for Global Health Security: Here’s Why

Join us online on April 5 at 9 a.m. ET to hear from health workers and health workforce experts from around the world, including: 

  • Denis Ako-Arrey, chief of party, RHITES-E, IntraHealth International  

  • Richard Greene, USAID lead on global health security agenda

  • Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, deputy director, Africa CDC 

  • Margaret Odera, community health worker and mentor mother in Kenya 

  • Moderator: Janet Muriuki, senior director of health workforce development, IntraHealth International 

Register here.