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IntraHealth International will lead a new USAID-funded global project to improve health services in the developing world by strengthening the health care workforce. The Human Resources for Health and Quality Services (HRHQS) Project will increase the quantity of available health workers and the quality of services by working with global organizations and developing country institutions to test and roll out successful workforce planning, retention, recruitment, training and deployment interventions.
The five-year HRHQS Project, which has a $300 million ceiling, builds on the foundation established by the USAID-funded Capacity Project, also led by IntraHealth, which worked in 47 countries around the globe to strengthen health systems and workforce planning, development and performance support. Worldwide, there is a need for four million health workers to increase access to critical primary health care services; 57 countries fall short of the World Health Organization’s minimum ratio of 2.3 health workers for every 1,000 people.
“The HRHQS Project will serve as a catalyst at this critical juncture to further advance human resources for health knowledge and practice,” says IntraHealth CEO Pape Gaye. “The ultimate goal is a more efficient and effective global health workforce that will reach more people and improve health status and quality of life, especially for the poor and most vulnerable.”
The HRHQS Project will be led by Maurice Middleberg, who brings almost 30 years of experience to his new role. Middleberg joins IntraHealth from the Global Health Council, where he served as vice president for public policy. He has also held positions at USAID, the Futures Group, CARE, and EngenderHealth.
“The global health worker crisis is at the heart of the crushing burden of disease that holds hundreds of millions of people in poverty; all other health investments depend on resolving the dearth of qualified, productive health workers,” says Middleberg. “I am honored to join IntraHealth, a global leader in developing human resources for health. I am equally pleased to join a global partnership of highly capable organizations.”
IntraHealth is partnering with Abt Associates, IMA World Health, Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health (LATH), and Training Resources Group, Inc. (TRG) to implement the HRHQS Project. The project includes five associate partners to strengthen regional technical assistance and networking capacity: the African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), Kenya; Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH), Thailand; EQUINET, the Regional Network on Equity in Health in Southern Africa, South Africa; the West African Institute of Post-Graduate Management Studies (CESAG), Senegal; and Partners in Population and Development (PPD), Uganda and Bangladesh.