Around the world nurses are often the front line of the formal medical system, providing care to underserved areas and filling in where and when doctors are in short supply. Yet it has been estimated that sub-Saharan Africa needs 600,000 additional nurses just to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI)—the US Government’s unified program to address the underproduction of nursing professionals in developing countries—convened its partners for the first time in a meeting in June in Washington, DC. NEPI’s goal is to assist in the nursing component of the US Government’s commitment to training 140,000 additional health workers in developing countries by 2015.
NEPI is led by PEPFAR with government partners USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services. Other partners include CapacityPlus led by IntraHealth International, Columbia University, the World Health Organization, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Read more »
Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It is not confined to the classroom but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations. To develop and maintain the competencies needed to deliver high-quality services, health workers must be lifelong learners. Formal continuing education and training activities can support lifelong learning. Yet to be effective, they must target identified gaps between each worker’s current knowledge and skills and what is actually needed on the job. Training needs assessments provide information to target learning activities toward identified competency gaps and learning needs of specific health workers.
Like many of his fellow Ghanaians, Obeng Asomaning wanted to use his skills to help his country. As a new graduate with a degree in health service planning and management, he landed a job at the Ministry of Health’s Regional Health Office in Ashanti Region. Quickly he saw that the office was struggling to access information about the health workforce. How many midwives worked in the regional hospital? How many vacancies were there in Kwabre District? How many health workers will likely retire next year? The paper-based information system yielded no quick answers.
Presbyterian Church of East Africa Kikuyu Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Kenya, having been founded in 1908 by Scottish missionaries led by Dr. Arthur. The aim of the missionaries was to educate the young boys and girls as health workers, among other objectives.
Growing only slowly over the early years from its beginnings as a small first-aid centre, the hospital received a major boost in 1975 from the late President Jomo Kenyatta, who seconded medical staff to the hospital from the Government. In the same year, the first ophthalmic work was done at the newly-founded Eye Unit. Read more »
Dr. Eno Biney is an emergency medicine specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, the second-largest city in Ghana. She’s part of a new cohort of health workers that are changing the way emergency care happens in the country.
See Dr. Eno Biney on the cover of Impact magazine. This issue is all about health workers.
“I chose to specialize in emergency medicine because I realized that it was one of the most lacking specialties in our country,” Eno says. “There wasn’t any form of organized emergency treatment of patients.”
Instead, Ghanaians injured in accidents or suffering from medical, surgical, or obstetric emergencies were rushed to feebly equipped emergency care centers that didn’t have specially trained health workers or triaging systems in place. During her medical training, Eno saw the resulting delays in diagnosis and treatment—and lost lives. Read more »
The global health community recognizes that there is “no health without a workforce.” Efforts have been made to train, deploy, and retain more health workers in areas where they are most needed. But beyond this, we need those health workers that are already at their jobs to be productive.
What does this mean? Well, imagine that you are a district health manager. Read more »
An exultant white building surrounded by lush gardens, the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUCo) gazes at Mount Kilimanjaro, known as “Mama Kili,” with each sunrise. Located in Moshi, Tanzania, the school has been training physicians for over a decade. The first 15 medical doctors graduated in 2002.
While it is still a young institution, KCMUCo has been working hard to address the unmet health care needs of sub-Saharan Africa by increasing the number of health workers and retaining them in Tanzania. Through the support of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the school is focusing on scaling up training, with the number of annual graduates rising to 150 to date. KCMUCo has also updated its programs of study to ensure that medical students are acquiring relevant competencies to provide care for rural and underserved populations. Read more »
Advances in mobile health—or mHealth—have expanded the realm of possibility for remote education, diagnostic and treatment support, communication and training, disease tracking, monitoring, and data collection. Every day, mHealth grows to include more sophisticated applications for high-tech smartphones and tablets. But what about health workers—specifically those in rural areas who don’t have access to the latest technology?
To learn more about mLearning (or mobile learning) for health workers, IntraHealth International, through the CapacityPlus project, piloted an innovative program to provide refresher training to family planning service providers in Senegal using interactive voice response (IVR) technologies on basic mobile phones. Read more »