"Health workers for all and all for health workers" – GHWA declaration, Kampala day 3

EURO - Recruitment and Retention of Health WorkersThe particpants present at the First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health reached agreement on an historic joint declaration today, 4 March 2008. The declaration called on all responsible parties to make a firm commitment to resolving the health workforce crisis as soon as possible, and to turn recent advocacy success and political progress on the matter to concrete action.

Here is the full text of the declaration:

Health Workers for All and All for Health Workers

The Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action


We, the participants at the first Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in

Kampala, 2-7 March 2008, and representing a diverse group of governments,

multilateral, bilateral and academic institutions, civil society, the private sector, and

health workers’ professional associations and unions;

Recognizing the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS has on health systems and the

health workforce, which has compounded the effects of the already heavy global

burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, accidents and injuries and

other health problems, and delayed progress in achieving the health-related

Millennium Development Goals.

Recognizing that in addition to the effective health system, there are other

determinants to health;

Acknowledging that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one

of the fundamental human rights;

Further recognizing the need for immediate action to resolve the accelerating crisis in

the global health workforce, including the global shortage of over 4 millions health

workers needed to deliver essential health care;

Aware that we are building on existing commitments made by global and national

leaders to address this crisis, and desirous and committed to see immediate and urgent actions taken;

Now call upon:

1. Government leaders to provide the stewardship to resolve the health worker

crisis, involving all relevant stakeholders and providing political momentum to the


2. Leaders of bilateral and multilateral development partners to provide

coordinated and coherent support to formulate and implement comprehensive countryhealth workforce strategies and plans.

3. Governments to determine the appropriate health workforce skill mix and to

institute coordinated policies, including through public private partnerships, for an

immediate, massive scale-up of community and mid-level health workers, while also

addressing the need for more highly trained and specialized staff, .

4. Governments to devise rigorous accreditation systems for health worker

education and training, complemented by stringent regulatory frameworks developed

in close cooperation with health workers and their professional organizations.

5. Governments, civil society, private sector, and professional organizations to

strengthen leadership and management capacity at all levels.

6. Governments to assure adequate incentives and an enabling and safe working

environment for effective retention and equitable distribution of the health workforce.

7. While acknowledging that migration of health workers is a reality and has both

positive and negative impact, countries to put appropriate mechanisms in place to

shape the health workforce market in favour of retention. The World Health

Organization will accelerate negotiations for a code of practice on the international

recruitment of health personnel.

8. All countries will work collectively to address current and anticipated global

health workforce shortages. Richer countries will give high priority and adequate

funding to train and recruit sufficient health personnel from within their own country.

9. Governments to increase their own financing of the health workforce, with

international institutions relaxing the macro-economic constraints on their doing so.

10. Multilateral and bilateral development partners to provide dependable, sustained

and adequate financial support and immediately to fulfill existing pledges concerning

health and development.

11. Countries to create health workforce information systems, to improve research

and to develop capacity for data management in order to institutionalize evidence based decision-making and enhance shared learning.

 12. The Global Health Workforce Alliance to monitor the implementation of this

Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action and to re-convene this Forum in

two years’ time to report and evaluate progress. 

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