Reflections on Health Workforce Development; Comment on “Health Professional Training and Capacity Strengthening Through International Academic Partnerships: The First Five Years of the Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda”

Document Type : Commentary


Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal


This commentary addresses the statement that “the authors believe that the HRH [Human Resources for Health] Program can serve as a model for other initiatives that seek to address the shortage of qualified health professionals in low-income countries and strengthen the long-term capacity of local academic institutions.” I adopt the position of the devil’s advocate and ask whether a country, with a profile comparable to Rwanda’s, should adopt this twinning model. I suggest that the alignment with population and other capacity development needs should be the main criteria of decision.


Main Subjects

  1. Cancedda C, Cotton P, Shema J, et al. Health professional training and capacity strengthening through international academic partnerships: the first 5 years of the Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2018;7(11):1024–1039. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2018.61
  2. World Health Organization, UNICEF. Declaration of Alma-Ata, International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, USSR, September 6-12, 1978.
  3. World Health Organization. A Vision for Primary Health Care in the 21st Century: Toward Universal Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals: Draft. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. 
  4. Cometto G et al, Health policy and system support to optimise community health worker programmes: an abridged WHO guideline. Lancet Glob Health. 2018;6(12):e1397-e1404. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30482-0
  5. Cailhol J, Craveiro I, Madede T, et al.Analysis of HRH strategies and policies in 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in response to GFATM and PEPFAR-funded HIV-activities. Global Health. 2013;9:52. doi:10.1186/1744-8603-9-52
  6. World Health Organization. Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030. Geneva: WHO; 2016;
Volume 8, Issue 4
April 2019
Pages 245-246
  • Receive Date: 29 October 2018
  • Revise Date: 15 December 2018
  • Accept Date: 16 December 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 April 2019