July 13, 2011 • By Lotte Deckers Dowber •
Lotte Deckers Dowber is a Campaign Officer with Merlin. Merlin is one of more than 200 organizations calling for more health workers, better supported.
Did you know that more than a third of mothers who die in childbirth live in a country that’s either mired in, or emerging from, conflict? Or that half of all children who die before their fifth birthday are born in countries suffering chronic poverty?
Ending needless deaths starts with training health workers.
One surefire way to stem such colossal loss of life in crisis countries is supporting health workers on the ground now and training thousands more.
The impact just one health worker can make it remarkable. Olga, a Nurse Supervisor from conflict-affected Central African Republic working for international health charity Merlin is a perfect example. Olga looks after three of the 11 health facilities Merlin supports in rural Nana Gribizi. In total, she oversees the training of 30 health workers.
She travels between each clinic, helping to train staff as she goes, as well as make sure drugs are stocked and patients are receiving the care they need. In the six short months she’s been working there, the difference she’s helped bring about is enormous.
That’s why we’re campaigning for change.
Investing in health workers pays. It wouldn’t just save lives in crisis countries – it would dramatically improve global health too. None of the promises the world made to reduce death and disease by 2015 can hope to be achieved if aid isn’t urgently directed to the places where the most people die.
Doesn’t it make sense then – economically, socially, morally – to make sure aid is invested in health workers in the countries where most people die? Wouldn’t that have the biggest impact on local and global health?
Merlin’s Hands Up For Health Workers campaign is calling for urgent and long term investment for health workers in crisis countries. We want health workers to get the training, equipment, pay, support and protection they need to do their jobs and continue saving lives.
That’s why we’re joining together with organisations around the world to put pressure on governments to make – and deliver – commitments on health workers. The louder we shout, the more likely world leaders will listen!
Join us and our partners in taking action this month to show your support for more health workers, better supported.
• To find out more about Merlin and their Hands Up For Health Workers campaign click here.