Last Month, Dr Tiruneh Baye, IHR Strengthening Project Technical Advisor for Workforce development, supported Africa CDC in the planning and execution of an event as part of the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva, titled “High-Level Meeting on Health Workforce Needs for Africa’s Health Security.”

The event saw great attraction with attendance by Ministers of health from Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and others, Ambassador from various African countries, US Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace, Jim Campbell - Director for workforce for the WHO, as well as Prof. Neil Squires – Head of Global Operations at UKHSA. The meeting started with welcoming remarks by Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director of Africa CDC, followed by the keynote address by the Honourable Ambassador from the Central African Republic. Dr. Tajudeen Raji also spoke and highlighted the various activities Africa CDC is doing in the area of workforce development, followed by Dr. Merawi Aragaw, who provided insights on health workforce in the emergency arena, particularly the African Volunteer Health Corps. A roundtable discussion was then held which saw rich discussions from the stakeholders around challenges on workforce in Africa

In addition to organising the workforce event, Dr Baye also supported the Africa CDC delegation with their other planned engagements, as well attending additional workshops and events as part of the assembly. Highlights included attending the workshop on “Fit for Purpose Workforce” organised by Amref Health Africa and the Kenyan government which highlighted national level priorities for public health workforce development. He also attended a workshop entitled: “From resolution to action”, an event hosted by the Ethiopian government on the workforce resolution that passed the World Health Assembly, co-sponsored by Ethiopia and Croatia.

There was also the opportunity for Prof. Neil Squires, Head of Global Ops at UKHSA and Dr. Tajudeen Raji, Head of Division for Public Health Institutions and Research, Africa CDC, to have a discussion on our two organisations’ collaborative work and relations. The discussions revolved around Field Epidemiology Training Programme, the African Epidemic Service programme, Africa CDC’s engagement with EMPHNET, and on how best to strengthen the health workforce on the continent moving forward. We are delighted to continue our strong partnership with Africa CDC and look forward to the work to come.