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Letter to the Editor: From Recife to Addis Ababa

As our staff dive into two major global health conferences this week—the International Conference on Family Planning and the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for HealthIntraHealth CEO Pape Gaye writes from Recife, Brazil, to our friends in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in a letter published in Addis Fortune. Take a look:Connected Health Workers Key to Improved Health Careby Pape Amadou GayeWhile Addis Ababa gears itself up for the third International Conference on Family Planning, I find myself on the other side of the world, nearly 8400 kilometers away, in Recife, Brazil.A

s reproductive health policymakers, advocates, and practitioners are gathering at the African Union in Ethiopia, some of us, who would like to clone ourselves to be there with you—and feel like we are there in spirit—are gathered in Brazil for the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health.

Two significant global health conferences are taking place and the links between them are evident. The theme of this year’s family planning conference is “full access and full choice.” We all know that there is no access and no choice without health workers. As we like to say at IntraHealth International: “Family planning: It takes a health worker.”

Across the globe, 222 million women have an “unmet need” for contraception. They would like to use family planning services, but cannot—often because they do not have access to a skilled and well-equipped health worker.

Millions more health workers are needed in Africa and around the world in order to provide family planning and other essential health services to everyone. We simply cannot achieve “full access” to reproductive health services without taking on the global health workforce crisis.

Read the full letter in Addis Fortune »Read more from the conferences: