2 February 2009, World Health Organization, Geneva
On 2 February, WHO launched a new programme to increase access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. The programme is an integral part of the organisation's renewed efforts to strengthen health systems through a primary healthcare approach.
More than 30 international experts on health workforce rural retention met in Geneva to map out a plan of action to develop evidence-based recommendations, for publication in Spring 2010.
The recommendations constitute one of three interdependent pillars upon which the new rural retention programme will be based. The other two pillars are to gather and share evidence and to support countries in implementing effective health workforce retention strategies in rural and remote areas.
Opening the meeting, WHO Assistant Director General Carissa Etienne emphasized the importance of developing recommendations that will have a real effect at country level: "This is why, from the very beginning of the process, we are integrating a focus on the eventual implementation of recommended strategies, to ensure maximum impact where it is needed most."
Flyer for the overall rural retention programme
Dr. Raymond Pong, Research Director of CRaNHR, has been appointed by the World Health Organization as a member of the "Increasing Access to Health Workers in Remote and Rural Areas through Improved Retention" committee.