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HWMI Innovation Award- World Health Assembly

Over the last half century, despite repeated calls by developing nations, there has been little movement to address the challenges related to the international migration of health workers, often referred to as “the brain drain.” In the health sector, the international migration of health personnel from resource poor to resource rich countries has been increasing and is jeopardizing health investments in some of the poorest countries in the world. Consequently, the Health Worker Migration Policy Council launched the Innovation Award to foster action to address the challenges of health worker migration.

The Health Worker Migration Policy Council Innovation Award celebrates progress made by countries working to address the challenges of health worker migration. Announced May 1st, 2012, this highly competitive, non-monetary award honors innovative and scalable approaches in support of the WHO Global Code’s Guiding Principles and in accelerating progress toward solutions to health worker migration by addressing the seven WHO Global Code implementation recommendations.

This year, the Council received many strong nominations, and after careful review, proudly announced the 2012 Innovation Award recipients:

Ghana (Sending Country): Awarded for improving basic health infrastructure, re-engaging returnees, collaborating with stakeholders to encourage the return of health workers, and collaborating with civil societies to increase awareness.

Norway (Receiving Country): Awarded for establishing ethical international recruitment, building sustainable health systems both in Norway and abroad, health workforce development, supporting developing countries, collecting and reporting data to the WHO, setting up formal training for unskilled migrant workers and ensuring fair treatment of migrant health personnel.

See photo: Norway’s Permanent Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health and Care Services, Dr. Bjorn-Inge Larson and Ghana’s Minister of Health, Honorable Alban S. K. Bagbin, accepting the 2012 Innovation Award on behalf of their countries.


The award reception was held in Geneva during the 2012 World Health Assembly. The event was hosted by the Health Worker Migration Policy Council in partnership with Aspen Global Health and Development (GHD)’s Health Worker Migration Initiative (HWMI), Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Health Worker Advocacy Initiative, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), and the World Health Organization Health Systems Division (WHO).

We would like to sincerely thank our partners for making the event a success, and CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and all the nominated countries for their dedication in addressing the challenges of health worker migration.

Event information
Thu May 24, 2012
5:00pm - 6:00pm GMT+0000