Only one skilled health professional for every 1,000 inhabitants. A population that has doubled from 21 to over 40 million people in the last ten years. An expenditure of USD 51 per capita on health out of which only USD 8 comes from public domestic sources. This is the present-day situation in Uganda, a country that has been facing a huge shortage of human resources for health (HRH) for many years, with a direct and devastating impact on numerous population health indicators, particularly on maternal mortality rates.
This week, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its Youth, Education & Employment Strategy, ‘Youth at Heart’. With this strategy, for which we provided input last summer, the Dutch government aims to invest in more perspective for young people in the Sahel, Horn of Africa and Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) regions, with a focus on education and employment. In our opinion, investing in health worker jobs for these regions’ young populations would both improve their career opportunities and future, while at the same time tackle the large health workers shortage that many of these countries face.
Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) has still not been achieved in many countries and regions. For example, in Africa, 24.2% of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for family planning. SRHR can only be supported and enabled in a country with a strong, responsive and well-functioning health system. This health system should be sustainably financed, and properly staffed with sufficient and skilled health workers. In our short paper, we explain why a strong health system is a prerequisite for SRHR.
Wemos conducted a case study on the application of Dutch Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy instruments for business strengthening in the healthcare context. With our discussion paper “‘Best Public value for public money?’ The case of match-funded multi-hospital infrastructure development in Tanzania”, we share the findings and key points from the in-depth discussions of those findings with civil society and other organisations – in Tanzania and the Netherlands.
In today’s global health landscape, Public Private Partnerships, or PPPs, are continuosly being formed to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our era, that indeed call for a multi-sectoral approach and sustained collaboration between all actors. Wemos is actively involved in the debate around the role of PPPs in achieving Universal Health Coverage. For example during the World of Health Care ‘congresstival’ that took place in Rotterdam on september 26th, where we co-organized a panel discussion on the role of PPPs in preventing epidemics.
In our advocacy for more and better financing for health, we find it important that the call for adequately funding Universal Health Coverage (UHC) takes on board the lessons learned on funding for HIV. Therefore, Wemos worked together with STOPAIDS members, allies and partners on this factsheet on UHC and HIV, which was disseminated at the High-Level Meeting on UHC earlier this week.
The issue of creating jobs in a decent and fair way is one of the most pressing global challenges of our era. This is Vice Versa’s – journalism platform on global development – main message of their special jobs report “The World of Work”, published last week. Our director Mariëlle Bemelmans highlights the specific concerns related to this urgent and complex dilemma for the health care sector: “Governments and donors need to realize the importance of investing in healthcare, including the creation of employment opportunities.”
This week Devex – a media platform for the global development community – explores the question whether governments should see health care as an ‘investment’. One of the people who comment on this matter, is our global health advocate Mariska Meurs. She talks about health financing and achieving Universal Health Coverage, from a rights-based approach. “Reorienting the health funding discourse around human rights may also be economically beneficial, as it disentangles health financing from politics.”
Wemos’ four new papers are part of a series about the Global Financing Facility (GFF) at national level and show the GFF process in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.
With great enthusiasm and pride we welcomed many to our 40th anniversary congress ‘Global Health, everybody’s concern and everybody’s business, in COMM in The Hague last Friday. With various attendees – from our co-founders and partner organisations, to policy makers and students – we discussed 40 years of advocating the right to health worldwide, the current changes in the global health landscape and of course, the challenges ahead. What an inspiring day!