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Frontline Health Workers Coalition Launches Initiative to Add 1 Million Health Care Workers in Developing Countries

January 11, 2012

The Frontline Health Workers Coalition -- which consists of 16 major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Family Care International, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, and RESULTS -- has launched "a new initiative to add one million health care workers in developing countries," VOA News reports, adding that the "Coalition says training more community-level workers is the most cost effective way to save lives, speed progress on global health threats and promote U.S. economic and strategic interests" (DeCapua, 1/11). "The Coalition, which launched today with the release of a new report (.pdf) focusing on the need for frontline health workers, is calling on the U.S. administration to train and support an additional 250,000 new frontline health workers -- and to better support the capacity and impact of existing workers where the need is greatest," a Coalition press release (.pdf) states (1/11).

Coalition Chair Mary Beth Powers "said frontline workers include community health workers, midwives, village pharmacists, physicians' assistants, nurses, and doctors who work in community-level clinics," VOA notes (1/11). The WHO "estimates a shortage of at least one million frontline health workers worldwide, with Africa the region in greatest need," U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes in the Department of State's "DipNote" blog, highlighting the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) under PEPFAR as two programs that "exemplify [U.S.] efforts to build lasting solutions" (1/10).

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