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Diaspora and the 77th World Health Assembly

14 June 2024


THET Diaspora Engagement Advisor, Moses Mulimira, reflects on the 77th World Health Assembly

A few months ago, I was given a great opportunity with a secondment from NHS England Global Unit to join Tropical Health and Educational Trust (THET) as a Diaspora Engagement Advisor. Top of my agenda was to ensure that Diaspora health workers’ voices, contributions and expertise are recognised both locally within the NHS and globally, especially in their countries of origin.   

At the recent 77th World Health Assembly, I was pleased to see that the diaspora agenda in global health was put that the forefront during the side event hosted by THET and Philippines Government with technical assistance of World Health Organisation titled, “Promoting a sustainable and equitable global health workforce: collaborative action on managing migration.”

The THET side event, and the World Health Assembly more widely presented the perfect opportunity to discuss the health worker mobility and the diaspora impact in global health. As countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue their pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), global health security and the Sustainable Development Goals, it is critical to engage WHO Member States in robust and co-ordinated policy actions towards effective management of a sustainable global health workforce.  

Health workers are central to enabling strengthened health systems that are capable of delivering essential health services, essential public health functions and the emergency preparedness and response capacities required for the next pandemic or climate-related emergency.   

Vital to this goal is ensuring ethical international mobility of health workers and measures to address the evolving phenomena of health workers migrating for employment in the care sector. 

THET has continuously advocated for the need to address the global shortage of health personnel and the need to recognise the valuable contribution of diaspora in health systems globally, including the NHS.  

Through THET’s Experts in Our Midst programme, we celebrate the fact that 1 in 5 NHS staff report a non-British nationality, connecting us to over 200 health systems around the world. We think those personal ties, and their knowledge of other health systems is a benefit to us in the UK.  

The Experts in Our Midst programme aims to harness the knowledge diaspora staff have of other health systems to develop practical solutions that improve health service delivery in the UK and overseas. To do this, we must recognise the diaspora workforce as experts in the UK health system due to their experience of different ways of working and broad skills base.  

Understanding the experiences of internationally recruited staff allows us to celebrate their expertise and acknowledge how much the UK gains from their presence in our health system. In turn, this gives the UK a responsibility to support the work of building the health systems in their countries of heritage and avoid the costly effects of health workforce ‘brain drain’ on low- and middle-income countries. 

This post was written by:

Moses Mulimira - Diaspora Engagement Advisor


  • Mariam
    19 Jun 2024 06:28
    Moses is an inspirational global health advocate from a diaspora community- he has been at forefront of empowering other diaspora colleagues for many years now through UK Africa health summit. Thanks THET for advocating for us in diaspora
  • Dr Sarah
    19 Jun 2024 06:24
    Thanks for such inspiring blog and as a diaspora health professional who trained from outside UK , I appreciate the work thet is doing to give us a voice .
  • Dr Sarah kasigwa
    19 Jun 2024 06:22
    Inspiring blog to us Diasporas with interests in global health. Thanks THET for giving us a platform to share our voices and experiences in nhs
  • Joy Oloya
    18 Jun 2024 12:20
    Thanks Moses, indeed the Diaspora is an untapped or under utilised resource in the pursuit of universal health coverage with the shared experiences and aspirations that could invigorate our combined efforts.
  • Primrose Magala
    17 Jun 2024 00:20
    Thank you for the great advocacy, Moses. Diaspora play a vital role in ensuring health systems remain functional. Through THET's Global Health Partnerships initiative and window of opportunities, it will help us acceleration our combined efforts towards achieving universal health coverage.
  • Dr. Nduhuura
    16 Jun 2024 22:17
    Mulimira is a solid global health champion and has offered his all towards promoting delivery of best global health packages across the global south. I celebrate his efforts in fostering sustainable partnerships and existing THET collaborations in crucial areas such as Maternal and Child Health, shared learning, Antimicrobial Resistance and eye care.

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