Dr. Ledia Lazeri
Head of World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office
Dr. Ledia Lazeri is a Medical Doctor, specialized in psychiatry and psychotherapy, with experience in clinical work and teaching assignments in her native country Albania and beyond. She got involved with WHO since 2000 when she joined a large programme of mental health reform in Albania, later being involved with mental health projects in the Balkan countries as part of the Stability Pact Initiative for the South Eastern Europe and later on in Turkey as the mental disability programme coordinator. Her portfolio with mental health programmes included work with mental health policy, service and workforce development, along with empowerment of and advocacy for mental health service users and carers. Among her achievements as a WHO mental health expert, she highlights the closure of many psychiatric residential care units, the establishment of many innovative community care units for people with mental health issues and intellectual disabilities, the contribution to mental health policy and plans at both country level and at the European level as well as a series of communication materials that served for training of mental health professionals, advocacy with policymakers, and empowerment of service users and carers in countries she served and beyond.
In 2014 Dr Lazeri expanded the scope of her engagement with health policy in serving as WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Albania, Uzbekistan and now in Hungary since 2017.
“Workforce health = national health. Building sustainable health workforces and celebrating nursing across the WHO European Region”.
Investment in production and maintenance of HRH is key to sustainable people-centred health systems. This should include consideration of investment in workforce health. The obvious benefit of having a healthy workforce is that healthier employees are absent less often. Health workers are at risk of acquiring infectious diseases through exposure at work. They may also suffer from psychological stress, which affects both their work and personal lives. Planners and policy-makers should therefore consider investment in worker health as an important element of health systems’ capability and capacity strategies. WHO has produced a global plan of action which, though not specific to the health workforce, deals with all aspects of workers’ health, including primary prevention of occupational hazards, protection and promotion of health at work, employment conditions, and a better response from health systems to workers’ health. (WHA60.26 Workers’ health: global plan of action, 23 May 2007) The WHO Director General committed to strengthen nursing and midwifery’s contribution to UHC and SDGs through appointing a WHO Chief Nursing Officer, engaging in the NursingNow! Campaign, producing the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report and more. This encouragement comes in the context of the: – Triple Billion Goals and Gender Agenda and aims at maximizing the contributions of nursing to achieve the triple billion goals and make meaningful progress towards gender equity; – PHC and Integrated People-Centred Care with a documented central role of nurses highlighted with 40th anniversary of Alma Ata – UN High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth that demonstrated need to invest