As the largest grassroots African institution, specifically dedicated to advocating for frontline health workers that are committed to primary health care (PHC) service delivery and universal health coverage (UHC), we call on leaders across Africa to empower and build effective PHC teams to achieve strong PHC and UHC in Africa. Please pay heed to your health professionals.
Africa faces many new challenges AND opportunities in PHC.
To date, human resources for health in PHC are grossly insufficient in number overall, often inefficiently distributed, lacking adequate training for delivering fully responsive and comprehensive frontline care, and treated inequitably within the health system. There has been a lack of solidarity among key role players in healthcare on the need for adequate PHC funding evidenced by using outdated service delivery and payment models.
However, there are opportunities leaders can capitalize on: global PHC milestones, increasing political will for investment in PHC, and increasingly proven mechanisms for achieving a stronger workforce such as the professionalization of community health workers, clinical task-sharing and the incorporation of family doctors into PHC.
We call on African leaders and global stakeholders to develop and implement a regional forward-looking plan to:
- Train, recruit and maintain a sufficient frontline PHC WORKFORCE. This must include professionalized community health workers, building task-sharing with supportive supervision, distributed leadership, clinical governance by accountable clinicians, and an integrated human resources development plan suitable to PHC.
- Support PHC with RESOURCES. This must include political and funding action on PHC as an investment, a fight for global solidarity action on PHC funding pools and to better manage with strategic purchasing and payment reforms using blended capitation.
- Build robust PHC SYSTEMS. This must envision comprehensive person- family- and people-centred PHC, embrace the bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach for PHC, put Health In All Policies, build quality in PHC, build the District Health System, empanel defined populations to a defined team with community oriented primary care and embrace interoperable e-Health that is person-centred and user-friendly.
As the African Forum for Primary Health Care, we call on Africa to commit to making this plan a reality and building effective PHC teams for UHC in Africa.
Please feel free to leave comments on your suggested changes/additions before 31st September. See link to full document.