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Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Speaks on Health Workforce for UHC at WHA76 Side Event

Geneva, Switzerland - May 23, 2023 - Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health took the stage at a high-level side event during the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA76) to discuss the critical importance of developing a fit-for-purpose health workforce for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa. Co-hosted by the Government of Kenya and Amref Health Africa, the event aimed to address the challenges and opportunities in strengthening the health workforce to achieve UHC goals in the region.
Acknowledging the commitment of governments across the world to ensure the health and well-being of their populations, the Cabinet Secretary highlighted the ambitious goal of achieving UHC by 2030. She emphasized that investing in a fit-for-purpose health workforce, with proper training, remuneration, distribution, support, and protection, is crucial for the successful implementation of UHC.
The Cabinet Secretary underscored the unique challenges faced by Africa in terms of health workforce planning, production, absorption, investment, retention, and development.
Africa currently bears 25% of the global health burden but has only 1.3% of the trained health workforce, well below the recommended 4.5% per 1,000 population for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With an estimated shortfall of 6.1 million health workers by 2030, Africa faces significant obstacles in achieving UHC and SDG targets. 
The Cabinet Secretary called for collaborative efforts to advance the health workforce agenda, aligning with the African Union's New Public Health Order, which emphasizes UHC, pandemic preparedness, and health security.