In the letter to donors who include GAVI the vaccines alliance, Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Financing Facility, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation, the CSOs want the donors to commit and contribute to pooled and adequate funding for long-term investments in the health workforce.
143 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are calling for funding to
support the recruitment of health workers to enforce interventions of COVID -19.
In the letter to donors who include GAVI the vaccines alliance,
Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Financing
Facility, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Health
Organisation, the CSOs want the donors to commit and contribute to pooled and
adequate funding for long-term investments in the health workforce.
“This would address
shortages for the short term COVID-19 response, but also build strong future
health system resilience and health workforce preparedness and response
And it will guarantee readiness for public health threats,
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and health for all as a human right”, the CSOs note
in a statement released on Friday.
They add that although most funders have already released
additional funds to governments in need, the support packages do not
specifically prioritize the urgent need to recruit additional health personnel
alongside priorities for research, vaccine development, protective personal
equipment, test kits and programme management response support.
They fear that in countries where severe shortages of health
personnel have been insufficiently addressed in normal circumstances, they will
not be able to cope with the high pressure that comes with COVID-19.
“Africa has a share of 24% of the global burden of disease, yet,
only 3% of the global health workforce. For comparison, a high-income country
like the Netherlands has approximately 8.6 health workers per 1,000 people,
whereas Uganda has only 0.74 and Malawi 0.35, staying far below the 4.45
threshold established by the WHO”, says Wemos’ Global Health Advocate Myria
The organisations formulated specific requests for each
institution, ranging from the elimination of restrictions on the use of funds,
so they can be used for recruitment of health workers, to the cancellation of
For instance, to Global Fund, they ask that they continue allowing
countries to use funding in the new grant cycle as well as in the COVID-19
response reprogrammed resources and any additional COVID-19 resources, to pay
for the training, recruitment, support and remuneration of health care workers.
The CSOs also want IMF to put an end to policy conditionality and
advice that leads to spending restrictions on health, in particular to the
health workforce, including for programmes approved before the pandemic.
“We call on the IMF to offer immediate cancellation of all debt
payments to the IMF for the remainder of 2020 and a possible extension of the
cancellation to 2021 to free up resources towards strengthening the health
workforce and health systems overall. Finally, we ask for the facilitation of
debt restructuring and relief with widened eligibility criteria, beyond IDA