Addressing the Global Shortage of Health Care Workers
Every health issue—whether impacting a small family or an entire country—depends entirely on whether the health worker on the ground has what they need to do their job. Project HOPE is committed to enabling health care workers to provide expert care.
Health Workers Are The Key To Solving Our Greatest Health Challenges
Successfully addressing any health issue, whether it impacts a small family or a large region of the world, depends entirely on whether the health worker on the ground has the tools they need to do their job.
Project HOPE’s vision … “to create a world where everyone has the health care needed to reach life’s full potential” … directly intersects with one of the most significant issues affecting global health — the shortage of a properly trained health care workforce. The gaps in both health care access and the skill sets of care providers that exist in some of the poorest communities around the world can make it nearly impossible to receive lifesaving health care.
Project HOPE works at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges to support the growth and training of health care workers so they can deliver expert care when and where it’s needed — whether it relates to infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises and the health of women and children.
The World Health Organization says that there is currently a global shortage of more than seven million health workers and that number could rise to nearly 13 million by 2035.
Building An Effective Health Workforce
Project HOPE works in more than 25 countries around the globe to train and support health care workers in a range of care from pediatric services in Indonesia, to combating malaria in Africa, to improving maternal and neonatal care in the Dominican Republic and responding to natural disasters like the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia and the unfolding humanitarian crisis in South America.
In China, for example, which has a shortage of health care workers, Project HOPE has been working for more than three decades to train thousands of health care workers to provide expert pediatric care and heart surgery, and to treat epilepsy, asthma, diabetes and more. Jian Yang, a clinical preceptor and senior nurse recently participated in simulation training to better equip and prepare health workers. Yang now offers simulation training to other nurses in China.
“Working in the emergency department with patients in critical condition can be very stressful for new nurses who lack experience,” Yang said. “They can be very nervous and then make mistakes, but if they have practiced similar situations in a simulation lab, they have much more confidence to work with patients. This type of training improves quality care for patients.”
Growing populations and access to medical educational are just two factors creating the global shortage of health care workers. Disasters and health crises also complicate the problem.
Our Train-the-Trainer Methodology is Key
When the Ebola epidemic struck West Africa in 2014, the outbreak led to the death of 221 health care workers in Sierra Leone, further complicating already challenging health problems for women and children. HOPE is helping the health care system fight back, providing local health care workers with lifesaving training and providing skills to share this knowledge with others.
A recent training in Sierra Leone is a great example of HOPE’s long-used train-the-trainer methodology. In this case, it focused on how to master neonatal resuscitation skills. Thirty master trainers learned how to teach essential newborn care skills using interactive simulations and demonstrations. Those trainers were then supervised as they passed on that knowledge to 250 district trainers.
“The trained district trainers will now pass on their training to labor and delivery staff at the peripheral units,” explains HOPE’s Eden Ahmed Mdluli, M.P.H., PMP, Senior Program Officer for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. “The cascade effect – where lifesaving knowledge is successively passed along from the trained national master trainers to district level trainers who will later train non-hospital level providers.“
As the shortage of skilled health workers around the globe continues to grow, HOPE remains committed to giving health care workers knowledge, tools and support to deliver expert care and to save lives.
Global Health Checkup: How to Tackle the Shortage of Healthcare Workers
Listen to our podcast episode featuring our CEO, Dr. Tom Kenyon, about how Project HOPE is tackling one of global health’s most significant challenges: the global healthcare worker shortage.
One of the biggest challenges facing the global health community is not a new pandemic, a natural disaster or the aftermath of a vicious civil war – it’s a shortage of healthcare workers that makes dealing with all of these unrelenting situations much harder. Earlier this year, Project HOPE CEO Dr. Tom Kenyon joined the Global Health Checkup podcast to discuss how to overcome the shortfall and help ensure everyone, wherever they live, has access to health care by 2030.
We place power in the hands of local healthcare workers to save lives across the globe.
Our work must continue. Our crucial, lifesaving work around the globe isn’t possible without the support of people like you!
Your support can help Project HOPE continue to provide the training and supplies needed to save lives.