My Mundane Professional Association Meeting is a Luxury Most Midwives Can Only Imagine

After work, once every couple of months, I have the luxury of making my way across town to the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Washington, D.C. Affiliate meeting to spend a couple of hours eating lukewarm Peruvian chicken and discussing issues affecting midwives at the local and national level. It’s not the meetings themselves that…

Do We Really Need 39 Million More Health Professionals?

During the internship year of my medical training, Peru was affected by a severe El Niño. At that time, millions of people living in the poor peri-urban belt of Lima lacked access to clean water and sanitation services. These factors were a recipe for a massive outbreak of diarrheal diseases in children. The pediatric services…

Three Technologies that Could Transform Health Supply Chains

In 2015, the United Nations ratified the Sustainable Development Goals, which include bold targets to eradicate poverty and deliver comprehensive healthcare worldwide by 2030. To achieve Goal 3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, reaching the largest segment of the world’s poor — the women, children, and men who live…

How Are We Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Health Workers?

Earthquakes, hurricanes, epidemics, outbreaks — when disaster strikes, the immediate needs like food, shelter, and medical aid are obvious. It is easy to see these needs as they often manifest in physical and more tangible ways. Yet the residual mental health effects of any crisis, be it a natural disaster, conflict, or a health outbreak…

National Health Workforce Accounts: Better Data for Better Decisions

As the human resources director at the Ministry of Health, you know your country has health workforce challenges. You know that certain regions in the country suffer from maldistribution of health workers with challenges for retention in rural, hard to reach areas. Your reports show that health workers are stationed in rural posts but there…

3 Questions with Hanan Zaidah: Fighting “Brain Drain” in Jordan’s Health Sector

Global health leaders have consistently identified motivation and retention of health workers as hurdles to achieving the vision of universal health coverage. In its strategic plan, the Jordan Ministry of Health suggests that 2.7 percent of doctors and 6.8 percent of nurses leave the country every year. What issues do you believe have the most…

The Refugee Crisis Presents a Global Challenge to the Health Workforce

“No one is going home soon,” stated the moderator at a recent Society for International Development-Washington panel discussion about the global refugee crisis. This simple observation drives home the reality that governments, aid organizations, and refugees themselves have confronted around the world for nearly five years. It is a reality that has more recently entered mainstream…

20 Years of Evolution in Human Resources for Health

The 69th World Health Assembly presents a significant milestone for those of us who work in human resources for health (HRH): HRH has finally been recognized as a foundational principle in reaching world health goals. More so now than at any other point in history, the public health community is devoting significant attention and effort…