The 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.