Month archive: April, 2020

143 organisations urgently request health donors to support health worker recruitment in poor countries because it is key to fight COVID-19

Together with 143 civil society organisations, we call on the major funders in global health to prioritise international funding that supports recruitment of health workers in resource limited contexts. In a letter, we ask the funders to commit and contribute to pooled and adequate funding for long-term investments in the health workforce. This would address shortages for the short term COVID-19 response, but also build strong future health system resilience and health workforce preparedness and response capability. And it will guarantee readiness for public health threats, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and health for all as a human right.

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The right to health worldwide

“A woman who was about to give birth came in,” said Deborah, an obstetrician in Malawi. After giving birth, she started to bleeding a lot, and this continued throughout the night. We did everything we could to stop the bleeding. But when she finally did, she had already lost a lot of blood. Since we didn’t have blood to give her, I donated my own blood. That saved her. A few days later she was able to go home, healthy, and with her baby. ”


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World Health Day 2020: the (current) state of the world and our nurses

Today, on World Health Day, and in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, the first ever State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020 has been launched. The WHO and partners call for urgent investment in nurses. The report comes at a crucial time when global leaders are focused on achieving Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Also, with the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting lives all over the globe, the report adds an extra dimension to this day – as health workers worldwide, including nurses and midwives, are working tirelessly to save lives.  

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Healthcare: a vital profession

Human resources for Health team

It is striking what a crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak can bring about. Five years ago, budget cuts severely restricted funding for long-term care, home care and youth care in the Netherlands. Many care organisations went bankrupt and 80,000 care workers lost their jobs. Then the economy started booming again and budget was made available to expand the health workforce.

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Don’t underestimate the gap!

Mariëlle Bemelmans

As the Covid-19 was starting to make its way around the world, just having started in China and the first cases appearing in Thailand, there never was a better time to speak about universal health coverage (UHC) and how to accelerate progress towards achieving this everywhere in the world. The Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC), an annual global gathering focusing on policy-related health issues that took place in Bangkok on Jan 28-Feb 2, facilitated this discussion, focussing on ‘Accelerating Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage’. Director Mariëlle Bemelmans was invited to participate as a panellist in the session ‘Making and Using (Fiscal) Space for UHC’. In her blog she tells about her experience and our ideas on how fiscal space should be used to bridge the still very large funding gap for achieving the world-wide health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

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