International joint special issue: “Towards a scaling-up of training and education for health workers”


WHO, Human Resources for Health (

and their partnering journals,

American Journal of Public Health (

Archives of Iranian Medicine (

Croatian Medical Journal (

Education for Health (  

International Nursing Review (

Journal for Nurses in Staff Development (

Leadership in Health Services (

New Zealand Medical Journal (

Nursing Ethics (

Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing (

Open Medicine (

Papua New Guinea Medical Journal (

PLoS Medicine (

Progress in Community Health Partnerships (

Public Health (

Revista Brazileira de Educação Médica (

South African Medical Journal (

Sudanese Journal of Public Health (

are leading an international joint special issue addressing the critical need for a skilled, sustainable health workforce in the developing world.

Published articles in all the journals will fall under the broad theme.

“Towards a scaling-up of training and education for health workers”

The World Health Report 2006, Working together for health, recognized the centrality of the health workforce for the effective operation of country health systems and outlined proposals to tackle a global shortage of 4.3 million health workers. There is increasing evidence that that this shortage is interfering with efforts to achieve international development goals, including those contained in the Millenium Declaration and those of WHO’s priority programmes.

The health workforce crisis in developing countries derives principally from inadequate educational opportunities for health workers and a lack of relevance of their training to community health care practice.  Additional contributing factors include: inadequate compensation and working conditions, the deteriorating health of the workforce in many developing countries, urban/rural and workforce imbalance, and migration of the workforce from developing to developed countries.

We issued a call for manuscripts which concerned the scaling-up of training and education for health workers. Possible sub-themes will include, but are not limited to:

  • private sector engagement
  • regulatory frameworks for education and practice
  • labour market dynamics after the production of health workers (e.g. retention)
  • training teams rather than individuals
  • skills mix
  • multi-skilled workers, responsive to exiting needs
  • task-shifting / role substitution
  • competency-based education and training

Human Resources for Health is proud to launch this year-long initiative with three articles:

Human resources for maternal health: multi-purpose or specialists?

By Vincent Fauveau, Della R Sherratt, Luc de Bernis

Developing a competency-based curriculum in HIV for nursing schools in Haiti

By Elisa Knebel, Nancy Puttkammer, Adrien Demes, Ruth Devirois, Mona Prismy

Scaling up kangaroo mother care in South Africa: ‘on-site’ versus ‘off-site’ educational facilitation

By Anne-Marie Bergh, Elise Van Rooyen, Robert C Pattinson

Partnering journals will publish as best suits their format and regular schedule over the coming twelve months. Our journal will publish about three articles under the special issue theme per month.

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One Comment

Marlene Schooler

Just read a really plausible novel called The Prophesy Gene. The main characters uncover a number of unintended genetic mutations as a result of the 1980s Aral Sea environmental disaster in Central Asia and the accidental release of a genetically modified strain of anthrax.  The author makes a pretty scary claim that mankind is stifling its own evolution by premeditated and accidental genetic engineering and mutations because we can’t possibly understand all of the consequences to ecosystems and dormant genetic sites and the food chain when we monkey with this stuff.  For example, some people eat oxen that have grazed on mutated vegetation and those people’s digestive systems irreparably stop working.  Or some dangerous fungus that humans eradicate because it causes disease but they don’t realize that it also sequesters carbon dioxide and could reverse global warming.  But I think the best one is that if it wasn’t for scientist’s genetic meddling, humans might one day evolve senses that bats and sharks have like hunting by their internal sonar or the ability that butterflies and some birds have to navigate by the earth’s magnetic field.  The book is by Stuart Schooler.  His website is and there’s a link to a blog and a Youtube video (

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