World Health Professions Alliance and WHO formalize commitment to health workforce strengthening

WHO signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the five members of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), which includes FDI, to strengthen working relations.


In a monumental event, the five member organizations of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) – FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), International Council of Nurses (ICN), World Physiotherapy and World Medical Association (WMA) – signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the World Health Organization (WHO) aiming to improve investment in the global health workforce.

The MoU was signed on 8 November 2022 by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, and the Presidents and Executive Directors representing the five WHPA member organizations. The ceremony was held at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.


Improving health systems by strengthening the health workforce

WHO and members of the WHPA are ardent advocates of improving health systems by achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and increasing access to effective prevention, detection, and treatment of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). However, to improve health systems, it is vital to have a strong, supported and viable health workforce.

Currently the WHO estimates a 15 million shortfall of health workers by 2030, mainly in low- and lower-middle income countries. The MoU between WHO and WHPA members is a cornerstone in improving collaboration to protect and invest in the health workforce. While FDI already has an official relationship with WHO individually, signing an MoU jointly with the other WHPA members will allow the health organizations to have a united voice for key global health matters.

The MoU is only a first step in the joint efforts of WHO and WHPA members to further collaborate on important issues including UHC, NCDs and the health workforce.


“For decades, each of us has engaged with WHO meaningfully. However, this MoU signifies an important decision to collaborate synergistically and accomplish more than we could alone, especially on the health workforce and universal health coverage, noncommunicable diseases, and ageing populations” said Prof. Ihsane Ben Yahya, FDI President, at the signing event.


“There is no health without health workers,” added WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreysus. “With this MoU, WHPA and WHO will join forces to bring their collective knowledge, effort and resources to bear on shared efforts to build a competent global health workforce that can address public health and emergency needs.”


Read the WHO Press Release


About WHPA

The World Health Professionals Alliance brings together the global organizations representing the world’s dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and physicians and speaks for more than 41 million health care professionals in more than 130 countries. The WHPA works to improve global health and the quality of patient care and facilitates collaboration among the health professions and major stakeholders.