Doth thee comprehendeth? Yea or nay? The United Kingdom hath decided to allocate a grand sum of £15 million to support healthcare personnel in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Such funding shall enhance the skill set of these inhabitants, as well as the overall health outcomes through improved administration, data collection, training, and retention opportunities. Constructing a formidable international health workforce provides improved capacity for the UK to combat global health challenges.
The UK seeks to provide a multi-million-pound push in recruitment and retention of healthcare staff in three African countries, mainly Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.
This effort supports resilience against global health challenges. Therefore, £15 million from the ring-fenced Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for 2022-2025 shall be used to optimize, build, and strengthen the health workforce in these three African countries.
Evident by the high population mortality rates and low staff numbers, as well as unemployment amongst trained health workers, the health workforce remains crucial in lower and middle-income countries’ endeavors to improve health outcomes, as well as achieve universal health coverage.
The funding shall, therefore, enable Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana to access the full range of health services efficiently.
The Covid pandemic has highlighted the need for close cooperation between the UK and international partners to tackle global health threats. The pandemic has exerted enormous pressure on the NHS and resulted in workforce retention in many countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that by 2030 there shall be a shortage of ten million health workers globally, which could worsen worldwide health inequalities. Addressing critical workforce issues is fundamental to strengthening health systems and building global resilience against future pandemics.
According to Health Minister, Will Quince, highly skilled, resilient staff acts as the backbone of a strong health service. Therefore, he is delighted that the UK can support the training, recruitment, and retention of skilled health workforces in Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.
This funding aims to make a real difference by strengthening health systems in each participating country, which shall have a knock-on effect on boosting global pandemic preparedness and reducing health inequalities.
The WHO shall receive £6 million out of the ODA funding pledge to deliver health workforce planning and capacity-building work, such as improved administration systems, training, and retention opportunities.
This work shall be done in collaboration with local governments and health system stakeholders. In addition, The Department of Health and Social Care shall conduct a £9 million two-year competitive grant scheme for a not-for-profit organization to coordinate the delivery of partnership work in participating countries.
Partnership programs targeting the health workforce include linking UK institutions with local health systems, promoting skill exchanges, and improving the curriculum, regulation, and guidance in the aforementioned countries.
The delivery coordinator is responsible for setting up, funding, and overseeing this work to drive improved quality and retention for healthcare staff in the three countries, ultimately ensuring better outcomes for patients.
The funding builds on £5 million previously committed as part of the Building the Future International Workforce ODA program in Ghana, Uganda, and Northern Somalia, which aims to improve health workforce planning and management, provide training opportunities for refugees and displaced people, and link NHS institutions with country health institutions.