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What Are Human Resources for Health?

What Are Human Resources for Health? Watch Dr Assefa Seme Deresse answer this question. (Step 4.2)
ASSEFA SEME DERESSE: I’m going to talk about human resource for health. Between 1988 and 2004, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative grew to become the largest international health effort in history, operating in every country of the world. An estimated 10 million health workers and volunteers have been engaged in implementing the necessary polio supplementary immunization activities on a recurring basis. And at least 35,000 well-trained workers have been conducting polio surveillance. The ability of a country to meet its health goals depends largely on the knowledge, skill, motivation, and deployment of the people responsible for organizing and delivering health services.
Many countries, however, lack the human resources needed to deliver essential health intervention for a number of reasons, including limited capacity building, lack of training and/or finances, migration of health workers within and across countries, demographic imbalances, et cetera. Through this lecture, we will explore who are the human resources for health, their role in the health programs, and the challenges they face. Let me pose some questions to you. What do you understand by human resource for health? According to the World Health Organization’s building blocks definition, health workers are all people engaged in actions whose primary intent is to protect and improve health of the people. Countries have enormous variation in the level, skills, and gender mix of their health workforce.
A well-performing workforce is one which is available, competent, responsive, and productive. I’m going to show you a video where fighting polio in remote Chad is screened. As you watch the video on the next slide, try to think about all the kinds of human resources that would be required to carry out the kinds of activities described here.
I’m sure you have seen all the kind of FEMA resources in the videos and tried to discuss among yourselves about the kind of human resources needed in this campaign. The next important topics that we’re going to talk about is about the importance of human resource for health, the key challenges faced by health workers, and the strategies to optimize the health work performances.

Assefa Seme Deresse, MD, MPH School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

As you watch the video on fighting polio in Chad contained in the lecture, think about all the kinds of human resources that would be required to carry out the kinds of activities described.

List at least 3. Post your ideas in the discussion.

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