Health professionals from Africa, including researchers and policymakers, are seeking harmonisation of their curriculum and training to address challenges affecting the continent’s health sector and reposition its workforce for the global market.
The more than 800 health professionals from 27 African countries converged in Mombasa, Kenya, for a three-day conference with a call for competence-based learning and embracing technology to enhance their skills to improve health sector.
World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, who attended the conference virtually, said that in the coming months the organisation will publish new evidence and guidelines on competency-based education to support the African national dialogue.
“Last year, we also broke ground on the WHO academy which aims to transform lifelong learning for health. There is no health without health workers.
“The pandemic demonstrates how critical health workers are and why they need the investment, the decent jobs and most accurate information, competencies and tools to keep themselves and their community healthy,” said Dr Tedros.
He further pledged to continue supporting the continent to suppress the transmission of the pandemic and rebuild post-Covid.
Dr Tedros urged policymakers to ensure health workers from the continent have the right education, training and requisite equipment to do their jobs safely.
“That means curriculum updates under Competency-Based Education model aligned with the health needs of the populations. They have done a lot to protect us; it’s now upon us to protect them,” he added.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who officially opened the meeting at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel on Monday, said there was a need to reform and recalibrate content and training of health care workers to deliver quality services for the continent.
He urged healthcare professionals to define an effective mechanism for cross-sectorial partnerships and collaborations towards reengineering the health workforce.
“Formulate necessary policy and regulatory frameworks to support strengthened training, development and deployment of health workers in line with changing needs. Enhance governance in cadre recognition, schemes of service and scope of practice for improved health workforce management and retention,” Mr Kenyatta said.