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WHO highlights health worker shortage

10th April 2006

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for more investment in medical training to address a shortage of health workers in 57 countries.

Its World Health Report 2006 has estimated that some four million doctors, nurses, midwives and other medical staff are needed to fill the healthcare gap in these nations.

The report, coinciding with World Health Day, states that the shortfall in staff numbers is hindering efforts to deliver essential health services such as childhood immunisation and HIV and Aids treatment.

Director general of the WHO Dr Lee Jong-Wook said: “The global population is growing, but the number of health workers is stagnating or even falling in many of the places where they are needed most.

“Across the developing world, health workers face economic hardship, deteriorating infrastructure and social unrest. In many countries, the HIV/Aids epidemic has also destroyed the health and lives of health workers.”

The report sets out a ten-year plan to tackle the workforce crisis and calls for both national and donor investment in the training and support of healthcare workers and improved efficiency in implementing strategies.

track© Adfero Ltd

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