In many African countries facing severe shortages and poor distribution of health workers, faith-based organizations (FBOs) provide between 30%-70% of health care services. Moreover, FBO facilities often serve remote and rural areas where governments have the greatest difficulty in attracting and retaining health workers. Yet FBO health workers frequently remain under-recognized for their contributions and uncounted in national statistics.
Members of FBO networks also provide a significant amount of preservice education and in-service health worker training in African countries. In Malawi and Uganda, for example, FBOs provide 70% of nursing and midwifery training; in Tanzania and Zambia they provide between 30% and 55% of such training. FBO schools have a history of management flexibility and innovation and an excellent track record of training health workers that serve in rural areas.
While FBOs are an important source of health worker production and promising practices to address human resources for health (HRH) challenges, they typically have minimal resources allocated to the development of strong HRH management skills, policies, procedures, and systems. This leads to staff attrition, increases training and deployment costs, and reduces the level of access to care available to clients of FBO facilities.
CapacityPlus strengthens FBOs’ ability to manage their human resources and provide high quality care to underserved populations.