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Tana Wuliji 232


BPharm (Otago 2002), PhD (University of London 2010)

Position now

Technical Officer (Health Workforce Department, World Health Organization) Geneva Area, Switzerland

Previous positions

Dr Tana Wuliji (PhD, BPharm) is a health workforce specialist, researcher and policy advisor. As a Technical Officer in the Health Workforce Department at the World Health Organization, she is responsible for interagency coordination for the Working for Health programme to amplify health and social workforce investments and intersectoral action to support attainment of the 2030 Agenda.

She has led studies, and advised on health workforce planning and strategy implementation in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In 2016, she supported the work of the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth and its follow up to develop a five-year action plan and convene a High-Level Ministerial Meeting. As the WHO focal point on health workforce for Ebola-affected countries in 2015, she supported health workforce analysis and the development of health systems investment plans.

Between 2010 – 2014, Tana directed the Health Workforce Development unit in a USAID program to improve the quality of care and strengthen health systems in 32 low and middle- income countries; including studies and improvement work to optimize health worker performance and productivity, in-service training, and regulation.

Between 2005 - 2009, Tana established a new portfolio on pharmacy workforce and education at the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

Senior Associate, Instituto de Cooperacion Social INTEGRARE (June 2010 - Dec 2010), Project Manager, International Pharmaceutical federation (Oct 2005 - Sept 2009), President, International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (Aug 2004- Aug 2005), Clinical Pharmacist, Hawkes Bay District Health Board (Dec 2003-Jan 2005), Intern Pharmacist, Hawkes Bay District Health Board (Dec 2002-Nov 2003).

Current role

Responsible for the Working for Health programme and leading the coordination of intersectoral strategies to guide and stimulate the creation of health and social sector jobs towards accelerating universal health coverage and broader socio-economic gains across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Works to bring together the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) towards implementing a the Working for Health programme - a joint five-year action plan in line with the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health. Focuses particularly on advancing the immediate actions recommended by the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth to (A) secure commitment and foster intersectoral engagement, (B) galvanise accountability, commitment and advocacy, (C) advance health labour market data, analysis and tracking, (D) accelerate investment in transformative education, skills and job creation, and (E) establish an international platform on health worker mobility.

Responsibilities include technical strategy development and coordination, managing relationships with key stakeholders, resource mobilisation, strategic communications and knowledge management.

Your Otago experience

I discovered my passion for global health, policy and international development through opportunities I had at Otago. In my final year of pharmacy school I received a scholarship that enabled me to travel to the UK to learn more about community pharmacy and participate in the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) congress in Budapest on behalf of the New Zealand Association of Pharmacy Students (NZAPS). This spurred further opportunities that led to my current work on health workforce at the World Health Organization. Otago’s unique approach in bringing patients, caregivers and people from the community to be part of the faculty transformed the way I looked at healthcare – this has stayed with me throughout my career. I will always remember the incredible insights and real stories that they shared of what health and the healthcare system has meant for them and their loved ones, it gave me a grounded compass with which to approach policy and research. Otago also gave us a head start to prepare for our careers with research, networking and interview opportunities.