On February 23, 2021, Banyan Global and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Nigeria hosted a virtual launch event for the five-year, $19 million USAID-funded Health Workforce Management (HWM) Activity. The HWM Activity works in Bauchi, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Ebonyi States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The HWM purpose is to establish a cost‐effective, well-trained, and motivated health workforce, particularly in targeted rural and remote areas in order to contribute to greater health systems responsiveness and improved health outcomes, especially among women and children. The HWM objectives are to: 1) Strengthen the pre-service training learning environment and in-service training program; 2) Support the building of a robust human resources information system to keep track of recruitment, deployment, retention, and continuing education; 3) Strengthen governance and management of the health workforce; and, 4) Support the conduct of human resources for health (HRH) research to improve HRH practices and retention mechanisms.
Approximately 100 people attended the virtual launch event. It was an opportunity for Federal and State officials to express their commitment to the HWM Activity. At the Federal level, speakers included representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), and the Community Health Practitioners Registration Board of Nigeria. At the State level, speakers included representatives of States Ministries of Health in Bauchi, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Ebonyi and the Health and Human Services Secretariat in the FCT.
FMOH Head, Human Resources for Health Branch Kadiri Ayinla moderated the celebration. HWM Country Director Samuel Ngobua provided opening remarks, and HWM Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Director Olufolake Akeju presented an overview of HWM. USAID/Nigeria Health, Population, and Nutrition Team Lead Paul McDermott called for a new partnership at the primary care level in Nigeria. Dr. Usman Adamu delivered the keynote address on behalf of NPHCDA Executive Director Faizal Shuaib. To celebrate the World Health Organization’s International Year of Health and Care Workers, Bashiru Amuneni recited his original poem, “This Is How We All Win.” He thanked health care workers for “weaving new magic daily for a healthier world” and “stretching the boundaries of human capacity.” During his closing remarks, Banyan Global Principal Associate and Health Systems Strengthening Lead Jason Wright described the HWM Activity as an opportunity to pay tribute to “our [health care] heroes.”
With the HWM Activity officially underway, Banyan Global looks forward to continued partnerships with USAID and the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria to strengthen HRH across the country.