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Sustainable Development in Global Health


This article originally appeared in Global Health and Diplomacy magazine.

In architecture, a keystone at the summit of every arch provides the critical role of holding all the other pieces in place.

For ecosystems, keystone species are indispensable to the functioning of the entire system.

Within the global health and development ecosystem, the health workforce is the keystone of sustainable development.

In 2006, the World Health Organization's World Health Report raised awareness of the global health workforce crisis with its sober assessment of endemic health worker shortages. Subsequently, three global forums have honed national and international commitments prioritizing human resources for health.On the ground, the ongoing West African Ebola outbreak illustrates the results of weak health systems and inadequate numbers of health workers, who are often poorly supported.This is an opportune moment to reemphasize the centrality of the health workforce.

We must strengthen the target for health workers in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Millennium Development Goals—which catalyzed 15 years of progress in health and development—are winding down. Attention has turned to the post-2015 agenda, including elaborating on Sustainable Development Goals, developing a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, and positioning universal health coverage as a key aspiration.

Continue reading.

Read the Summer 2015 issue of Global Health and Diplomacy. 

Photos

A community health worker in rural India uses mSakhi, a multi-media mobile phone application and all-in-one job-aid, to assess a mother and her young child’s health. Photo by Girdhari Bora for IntraHealth International.

A community health worker in rural India uses mSakhi, a multi-media mobile phone application and all-in-one job-aid, to assess a mother and her young child’s health. Photo by Girdhari Bora for IntraHealth International.

Alex Namala, a nursing officer at the Mukono District Health Center IV in Uganda, provides family planning counseling to a client. She oversees all services related to antenatal care, including deliveries, postnatal care, family planning, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Photo by Carol Bales for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

Alex Namala, a nursing officer at the Mukono District Health Center IV in Uganda, provides family planning counseling to a client. She oversees all services related to antenatal care, including deliveries, postnatal care, family planning, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Photo by Carol Bales for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

A nurse in the perinatology unit at Jaime Mota Regional Hospital in Barahona, Dominican Republic, cares for a newborn. Photo by Wendy Tactuk for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

A nurse in the perinatology unit at Jaime Mota Regional Hospital in Barahona, Dominican Republic, cares for a newborn. Photo by Wendy Tactuk for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

Students at the School of Health Technology, Keffi, Nassawara State in Nigeria train to become community health extension workers (CHEWs). CHEWs expand basic health services to rural areas of the country where health workers are in short supply. Photo by Uko Gabriel Chukwudi for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

Students at the School of Health Technology, Keffi, Nassawara State in Nigeria train to become community health extension workers (CHEWs). CHEWs expand basic health services to rural areas of the country where health workers are in short supply. Photo by Uko Gabriel Chukwudi for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

Nurse Ronicah Ong'ayo works with patient at Lugari District Hospital in Kenya. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

Nurse Ronicah Ong'ayo works with patient at Lugari District Hospital in Kenya. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

Photo: Joseph Otieno Owira, a clinical officer at Mariwa Health Center in Migori County, Kenya, cares for a young boy. Photo by Wycliffe Omanya for IntraHealth International.

Photo: Joseph Otieno Owira, a clinical officer at Mariwa Health Center in Migori County, Kenya, cares for a young boy. Photo by Wycliffe Omanya for IntraHealth International.


Sustainable Development in Global Health

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