Health workforce

Strengthening health workers capacities through digital health

June 2019 - The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with Member States and partners to leverage the benefits of the digital revolution sweeping across the globe. As the world turns its focus towards primary health care, universal health coverage and achieving ‘Health for All’, digital technology and tools have a key role to play improving health workers abilities to care for people and communities in reaching the targets.

Health Workforce central to the agenda of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly

Installation on health workers by artist Dairo Vargas at 72nd World Health Assembly
WHO/ L Cipriani

Geneva, 28 May 2019 - 4000 delegates from WHO’s 194 Member States and partner organizations convened in Geneva, from 20 to 28 May 2019, for the Seventy-second session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the theme of which was "Universal health coverage: leaving no-one behind. Health workforce was central to the agenda of the Assembly.

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Workforce

20 May 2019 - In his opening remarks to the Seventy-second World Health Assembly, WHO Director General, Dr Tedros announced the appointment of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Goodwill Ambassador for the health workforce.

Momentum for community health workers at the Seventy-second World Health Assembly

22 May 2019, Geneva – Today, the World Health Assembly recognized that community health workers play an important role in delivering quality primary health care services as part of interdisciplinary teams. Through a resolution supported by Member States, the Assembly took note of the WHO Guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes. Building on 40 years of increasing recognition since the Declaration of Alma-Ata, the guideline presents a series of evidence-based recommendations to strengthen, reinvigorate and establish the system foundations and essential health system integration for this sector of the health workforce.

Collaborative discussion series launched on supporting community health workers to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage

30 May 2019: At the World Health Assembly, Member States passed a resolution that recognized the contributions of community health workers in providing primary care services and advancing universal health coverage...

Addressing the 18 million health worker shortfall – 35 concrete actions and 6 key messages


On the margins of the World Health Assembly, a meeting on Addressing the Shortfall of 18 million Health Workers, co-organized by the World Health Organization and International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) was held on 21 May 2019. It convened international health professional associations, health worker unions, youth organizations, professional alliances and member states together to discuss successful health workforce models and actions to address the shortfall of 18 million health workers. A total number of 31 organizations attended the meeting, of which 18 represented healthcare professional associations. The meeting resulted in 6 key messages on the actions needed to address the 18 million health worker shortfall.

Health workforce and the Sustainable Development Goals – an infographic

Dr Tedros on the health workforce

(EB144, January 2019)

The power of health workers

Contact us

Health Workforce Department
World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Tel: +41 22 791 2542
Fax: +41 22 791 4747

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