Youth Pre-World Health Assembly: HRH Stream

Health students from around the world had the once in a lifetime opportunity to participate at the this year’s IFMSA PreWHA held from May 17-21, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Human Resources for Health (HRH) was chosen as one of the four streams of this youth-led event. This year’s WHA agenda point was concerning the adoption of the 5 year plan of High Commission’s Report on Health Employment and Economic Development. Participants gathered together to discuss IFMSA’s positions on HRH as well as Protection of Health Services.

Our HRH team was composed of: Aline D. Khatchikian (Stream Coordinator) from IFMSA-Québec, Alan Patlan from IFMSA-Mexico, Ayilkin Celik from AMSB-Bulgaria, Mauro Camacho from IFMSA-Brazil, Mohamed Khozyma from MedSIN-Sudan, Zineb Bentounsi from IFMSA-Morocco, and Vanessa Chen from AMSA-Singapore.

On the second day of pre-WHA, we had a talk by Tana Wuliji, from the health workforce department (WHO) and Christiane Wiskow, from the International Labour Organization (ILO). We learned about the immense socioeconomic and political gains in investing in the health workforce and how to mitigate the negative effects of health workforce migration. The session raised many interesting points on how to effectively utilize technology to advance human resources for health and the importance in building gender equity in the health workforce, where there seems to be a rising number of females gaining employment in the health sector, but few actually attaining high-level positions.

HRH Panel Discussion. From left to right: Dr. Otmar Kloiber, Secretary-General of the World Medical Association; Dr. Remco van de Pas from Health Workers for All; Aline D. Khatchikian, HRH Stream Coordinator; Ms. Chiara Zanette from ICRC Health Care in Danger project; and Dr. Amanda Howe, President of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA).

During the third day we had the opportunity to talk with experts in different sectors about human resources for health in a panel leaded by Dr. Remco van de Pas from Health Workers for all, Dr. Otmar Kloiber from the World Medical Association, Prof. Amanda Howe from the World Organization of Family Doctors and finally Chiara Zanette from ICRC – Healthcare in Danger. Through this panel we had the chance to deepen into strategies leaded by these organizations regarding Human Resources for Health taking into account the perspectives of the different stakeholders and policy-makers. We went further with this interactive session by making inputs from all participants besides asking some questions regarding human resources for health. At the end of the day, we went through our stream time opening a final discussion about our policy brief and starting some planning for the Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health.

Our fourth day was very exciting! It was the last day of Pre World Health Assembly workshop so we were sad that the amazing workshop came to the end but at the same time we were looking forward to the 70th World Health Assembly! During the first sessions we practiced our advocacy skills and tried to improve it. We had a very useful framework to advocate in social media and we followed some twitter accounts which would be important for human resources for health. In our stream time we worked on a project. We were asked to give suggestions for the 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health which will take place in Dublin, Ireland between the 13th and 17th November. We brainstormed and came up with great ideas.

Finally, we hope to inspire other IFMSAians to get involved in Human Resources for Health. We are looking for your innovative ideas. If you are interested in joining the conversation, please contact Aline D. Khatchikian at [email protected].

Further Reading:
Policy Brief on Human Resources for Health

Aline D. Khatchikian

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