We work in five areas:
We focus on:
We review our expenditure and allocation patterns to see how we are spending our resources across the Commonwealth and what themes we are addressing. Through dialogue with regional health bodies and global partners, such as the World Health Organisation, we are continuously sensitive to regional policy and/or political changes.
We collaborate with governments, international organisations, civil society, the private sector and others to implement projects which recognise that healthy individuals are central to social and economic development. These include: the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS, think tanks, schools of medicine, public health, nursing, the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme, Microsoft and the Open Society.
Code of conduct
The Secretariat implemented the Commonwealth Code of Practice for the ethical recruitment of health workers within member countries. It provides a framework for interaction between countries to meet the basic health human resource needs of their populations.
The global shortage of health workers - which the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates at 4.3 million – is having a devastating impact on healthcare systems in many developing countries already weakened by the burden of HIV/AIDS.
The Code is intended to discourage targeted recruitment of health workers especially from vulnerable countries experiencing shortages. It also safeguards the rights of recruits and conditions of employment in recruiting countries. This pioneering work by the Secretariat is informing the development of a global ethical code being drafted by WHO.
We are also a member of the Health Worker Global Advisory Policy Council, which seeks to find solutions to the worsening problem of health worker migration from developing countries. This Council is developing a roadmap and a framework for a Global Code of practice for health worker migration. We bring our experiences and those of member countries to the deliberations of the Council.
Enhancing midwifery skills
We increase the number of health workers with midwifery skills, since skilled health workers at birth are essential to reducing maternal deaths. Our work in this area involves working with countries to increase the percentage of births being attended by skilled health workers.