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Global Health Workers Need Comprehensive Training Rather Than ‘Quick Interventions’

“As governments from all corners of the world are desperately trying to improve their health systems and achieve the [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)] by 2015, they promise to increase the workforce of health workers manifold,” Frances Day-Stirk, president of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “The question is, do we want to cover the tip of the iceberg and train health workers in emergency skills, or do we want to do our job right and educate a cadre of health workers — including midwives — who all have the essential competencies to do every part of the job instead of only a few quick interventions,” she writes, concluding, “It is time to address all the issues properly and let the midwives and other health workers develop all of the skills that people need so desperately” (10/24).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.