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Supporting African faith-based organizations to develop health workforce advocacy messages

Supporting African faith-based organizations to develop health workforce advocacy messages

Nairobi, 16-18 April 2012. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) provide 30% to 70% of health services in African countries and often serve remote and rural areas that have difficulty attracting and retaining health workers. FBOs also provide a significant amount of health worker education and training, yet are often under-recognized for their contributions and have minimal resources allocated for developing of strong human resources for health (HRH) management skills, policies, and procedures. CapacityPlus strengthens FBOs’ ability to manage their health workers and provide high quality care to underserved populations.

From April 16–18, HRH leaders from several FBOs across Africa gathered in Nairobi at a meeting of the HRH Technical Working Group of the African Christian Health Associations (ACHA) Platform. 

Essentially, without the right number of adequately trained health workers, health service provision is affected. Participants identified issues and their root causes and effects related to health service provision faced by their organizations and affiliated health facilities. While poor retention is a problem faced by all organizations and health facilities, the root causes and effects were different from country to country. Reasons included:

  •     Poor leadership and management
  •     Inadequate budgets/remuneration
  •     Heavy workloads and unsatisfactory working environments
  •     Inadequate HRH policies
  •     Lack of accurate HRH data.

Using the root cause discussion as a springboard, the group brainstormed themes for the development of key HRH advocacy messages for the ACHA Platform and the individual organizations to use for HRH lobbying. Over the next few months these messages will be refined and ratified at the 2013 ACHA Biennial Conference.

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