The world spends billions of dollars each year developing drugs, vaccines, and other life-saving interventions to help low-income countries. However, every dollar spent is wasted if the country’s health system does not function well or if no health worker can provide these essential services to patients.
The critical shortage of health workers is astonishing. More than four million health workers are needed globally, more than half of which are doctors, nurses, and midwives. The largest shortages are in countries with the highest levels of preventable mortality. Access to cost-effective, high-quality laboratories and diagnostics is also a major problem in resource-limited settings
Human Resources for Health
The world has set ambitious targets, the Millennium Development Goals, to dramatically improve health care in developing countries, but the persistent shortage of health workers is a major obstacle to achieving these goals. The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) recognizes that an urgent transformation in Human Resources for Health (HRH) is needed to ensure that global investments in health result in lives saved. Since 2008 we have been working in partnership with governments to develop new, ambitious strategies to better train, hire, deploy, retain, and manage health workers at a national scale.
Laboratory Services Team
The Laboratory Services Team, which is housed under CHAI’s Access to Medicines program, works to increase patients’ access to rapid, accurate, and cost-efficient diagnostics. We have helped reduce the cost of the most common HIV/AIDS tests by as much as 80 percent. And we have worked hand-in-hand with more than 25 governments to improve both their national laboratory networks and the availability of new diagnostic technologies that match the needs of the communities they service.