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Washington, DC, 19 July 2019 (PAHO) - More than 30 representatives from Ministries of Health (MOH) and chief nursing officers (CNOs) from 18 countries in the Caribbean, USA and Canada came together in Miami, US, from 17-19 July 2019, to participate in a workshop on the National Health Workforce Accounts (NHWA) organized by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). The meeting aimed at exploring ways to strengthen health workforce information and evidence in the Region and define roadmaps for countries’ progressive implementation of NHWA.

The National Health Workforce Accounts is a system by which countries progressively improve the availability, quality, and use of data on health workforce through monitoring of a set of indicators to support achievement of Universal Health, Sustainable Development Goals and other health objectives.

The objectives of the meeting were to introduce the NHWA concept, modules and requirements; and to present the NHWA implementation guide including the online platform for data storing and reporting. Participants reviewed health workforce information challenges in the Region, and took stock of the existing Health Workforce data sources at country level in terms of data flows, strengths and weaknesses.

Participants agreed on the next steps at country and regional level to strengthen mechanisms that ensure the monitoring of HRH data and improve health workforce information.
As part of the meeting, participants were informed about the State of World’s Nursing (SOWN) report and the State of the World’s Midwifery report, to be launched in April 2020 by WHO, and agreed on the data to be collected for the 36 indicators related to nursing. Also, they agreed on directions to strengthen health workforce information in the Region and on future actions to progressively implement NHWA at country level and inform data for the SOWN report.

Some activities and strategies that PAHO is implementing to support the SOWN report in 2019 include: two trainings on the NHWA (July and August 2019); frequent contact with the CNOs of the Region; participation in the WHO Task Force on Nursing and Midwifery; support to the NHWA focal points, and sharing information about NHWA and SOWN to the countries and PAHO country offices.

In 2020, PAHO is planning to organize a Regional Forum of Chief Nurses and Midwifery Officers (March 2020), International Nurses Day (7 May), the Pan American Colloquium of Nursing Research (November) and a Nursing Now culmination event (26-28 October).

The next workshop will be held in Brasilia, Brazil at the end of August to prepare the CNOs and the MOH representatives of Latin American countries on the use of the NHWA and data collection for the SOWN report.