36 African countries have health human resources crisis, says WAPCMLS

Written by The Frontier Post

Joseph Erunke

ABUJA-THE West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science, WAPCMLS, has said 36 African countries were facing health human resources crisis, adding that ten among them were facing “critical shortages.”

The organisation’s revelation came ahead of its 2021 regional conference and induction, schedule next Monday,in Abuja,Nigeria where a total of 120 elected fellows would be inducted.

WAPCMLS’s Registrar/Secretary-General,Dr. Godswill Okara, at a pre-conference briefing,in Abuja,at the weekend, explained that the induction of the elected fellows at the three-day event that would be declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari, will “position the College adequately for the commencement of Fellowship Training in the region.”

“36 countries in the African Region have a health human resources crisis and 10 of these face critical shortages.

“This acute shortage of skilled health workers means that most countries are unable to avail appropriately skilled health workers in the right quantity where they are needed,”he said.

According to him,”Human capacity development is critical in the provision of an effective and efficient heath care service.”

” The achievement of the 2019-2023 WHO “Triple Billion Target” can only be possible if the health workforce operates in collaboration and cooperation among themselves, as it obtains in other parts of the developed world,”he said.

Recall that the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science is a statutory specialized professional Postgraduate training institution of the ECOWAS region, established to train specialists in all the subdisciplines and specialties of medical laboratory science profession, to strengthen manpower capacity for efficient healthcare service, health research, disease detection, accurate diagnosis, disease surveillance, prevention and control in the West African region.

Recall also that the 62nd Session of the World Health Organisation Afro-Regional Committee at a meeting on 20th November 2012, in Luanda, Angola adopted the Road map on Human Resources for Health.

He said:”The Regional Committee unanimously adopted the Road Map for scaling up the human resources for health to improve health service delivery in Africa.

“The Regional Committee is a WHO Governing Body for the African Region, composed of Ministers of Health of the 46 Member States.”

Dr Okara further explained that,”The Regional Road map proposes strategies and actions to overcome the health workforce challenges in Africa.”

“The Road map proposed strategies and actions in six areas, namely,”Strengthening health workforce leadership and governance capacity;

establishing or strengthening human resources for health regulatory capacity;scaling up education and training of health workers with appropriate skills mix; optimizing the utilization, retention and performance of the active health workforce;improving health workforce information and generation of evidence for decision making; and strengthening health workforce dialogue and partnership,”he said.

The 2021 scientific conference of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science has the theme: Improving Global Health by Strengthening Medical Laboratory Capacity in Africa.

He explained that,” President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously consented to declare the Conference open on the 15th November, 2021?,adding that,” It would be chaired by the Director General of West African Health Organisation, Professor Stanley Okolo.”

“The Keynote Lecture would be delivered by a foremost physician/infectious diseases specialist, Professor Idris Mohammed.

“Other distinguished subject experts from West Africa and the USA CDC would also make presentations on sub-themes of the Conference.

“Our College Fellows from all over West Africa and Cameroun would be in attendance at the three-day conference,’he said.

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