Last Updated on 09 Jan 2023

The 12th AAA conference, the conference platform will be a side meeting of PMAC conference in 2023

The Asia Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH)

In 2005, AAAH, a regional partnership mechanism, was launched by 10 founding member countries in response to international recognition of the need for global and regional action to strengthen country capacity for human resource for health (HRH) planning and management. The AAAH is part of a larger movement to enhance HRH development as articulated in Kampala Declaration and the Agenda for Global Action. The AAAH membership is gradually expanded. From 2005 to the present, membership has increased to 18 countries; 9 from the South East Asia (SEA) region including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and 9 from the Western Pacific Region (WPR): Cambodia, China, Fiji, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa and Vietnam. AAAH coordinates with partners to strengthen joint effort in advocating the HRH, provides technical support and augments country-level HRH development through regional collaboration.  It aims to ensure sustained commitments addressing HRH needs through research, and contribution to policy development.

COVID-19 and health systems

As of November 2022, COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in 642 million infections and 6.6 million mortality worldwide, it has shown how fragile health systems and lack of universal health coverage, trust in government institutions and social cohesion result in poor control and catastrophic outcome—disproportionately affected the poor and vulnerable population. At the pandemic recovery phase, strengthening health system and community resilience especially in low and middle-income countries is essential in boosting preparedness and capacity to better respond to the next public health emergencies. Pandemic has adverse impacts on SDG, where countries need to bring back on track their commitments. . Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization stated that “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of data and science to build back more resilient health systems and equitably accelerate towards our shared global goals.”

The impacts of COVID-19 affect the lives of people in all aspects: physical, mental, social, and financial. COVID-19 among people having some conditions, such as NCD and the elderly are more vulnerable to complications and death from COVID-19, while disruption of in essential care during COVID-19 can lead to mortality of inability to access to life threatening conditions.3 Since this is the novel and emerging disease, new knowledge, evidence, and new health approaches are needed to manage and control the disease. Collaboration of all health professions are needed. Some health professional regulations are also adapted to enabling multi-disciplinary team members in supporting pandemic responses. However, to tackle these challenges, health policy cannot focus on COVID-19 and hospital. Primary health care in community is essential to resilient health systems in response to COVID-19. Primary health workforce plays an important role in delivering health screening and health care service for people in communities during the acute phase of COVID-19, maintain services for people with chronic conditions, and promote health promotion and prevention, such as advocate and deliver COVID-19 vaccines, health education, and infection prevention and control. Therefore, the primary care systems and workforce are essential for health systems resilience.

Impacts of COVID-19 on health workers and action plan on health workers

Health workers have faced with many challenges from the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic until present. It has dramatically affected lives and heath of health workers. Abdul, Fendt-Newlin, Al-Harahsheh, Campbell reported on “Our duty of care: A global call to action to protect the mental health of health and care workers” in 2022 that prevalence estimates of mental health symptoms among health and care workers during the pandemic range between 23 and 46 percent for anxiety and 20 and 37 percent for depressive symptoms. Health and care workers reported that burnout and moral distress, which affect mental health and wellbeing, and which have long plagued the health workforce, worsened because of the pandemic. Estimates of burnout during the pandemic ranged from 41–52 percent in pooled estimates. Physicians and nurses experienced the highest levels of burnout compared to other health professions. Burnout was associated with increased contact with COVID-19 patients, lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and work stress. The Action Plan emphasizes the importance of the health and care workforce to the health of populations, to health systems resilience and to economic prosperity and focuses on three key and cross-cutting priority areas: planning and financing, education and employment, and protection and performance.

In May 2022, the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly adopted the Working for Health 2022–2030 Action Plan as a platform and implementation mechanism for accelerating investments in health and care worker education, skills, jobs, safeguarding and protection. It calls on Member States to implement the Working for Health 2022–2030 Action Plan and integrate, its objectives and actions into workforce planning and financing, education and employment, and protection and performance within their health and care workforce strategies, investment plans and programmes at national and subnational levels. International, regional, national and local partners and stakeholders from across the health sector and other relevant sectors are also invited to engage in and support implementation of the Working for Health 2022–2030 Action Plan. This Action Plan will support achievement of SDGs and universal health coverage.

AAAH conference platform

The conference is a main platform that AAAH has organized for learning and sharing knowledge related to HRH and strengthening HRH capacities among the member countries, HRH experts, and international agencies. The conference was held every year between 2006 and 2012, and then every 2 years since 2014. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the 11th AAAH conference in 2020 had changed the conference format to be the webinar series and more focused on health crises on the theme “Addressing Health Care Workers’ Challenges in Response to COVID-19: sharing experiences and drawing countries’ lessons.”

For the 12th AAA conference, the conference platform will be a side meeting of PMAC conference in 2023 with hybrid approach that include onsite and online conference to gain more opportunities for participants to share their experiences and lesson learn about resiliency of health systems and health workers during post COVID-19.

Conference Date and Time : 24 JAN, 09:00 - 17:30 HRS. (BKK)

                                                    25 JAN, 09:00 - 12:30 HRS. (BKK)

Venue : World Ballroom B, FL. 23

Side meeting registration

NOTE: NON-PMAC PARTICIPANTS are required to register for PMAC side meeting by 15 January 2023 at