Preservice Education

Strengthening the Mental Health Workforce with eLearning

Roos KorsteSome countries have only one psychiatrist, and as many as half of developing countries have fewer than five mental health researchers. The World Health Organization’s calculations indicate that in low- and middle-income countries more than 239,000 additional mental health workers are needed, but only 54.5% of all low-income countries have specific psychiatric education.

One approach to addressing these shortages is through eLearning.

Academic courses and degrees
There are many institutes and companies throughout the world that offer online degrees and certificates, but the education level, cost, and international recognition varies. Read more »

The Global Advisory Board: Implementing Health Professional School Reform

Amanda PuckettThe enthusiasm and excitement were palpable at the March 17th inaugural meeting of the Global Advisory Board on Strengthening Medical, Nursing, and Public Health Schools in Developing Countries.

Led by Board Chairman Dr. Ok Pannenborg and cochair Dr. Kate Tulenko, the board members asserted a firm commitment and solid leadership in support of the implementation of health professional school reform. During the meeting, members discussed key issues pertinent to strengthening health professional schools and shared with each other their global expertise. Read more »

Making Money Work: Global Advisory Board to Strengthen Health Professional Schools

Amanda PuckettRecently, CapacityPlus announced the launch of the Global Advisory Board on Strengthening Medical, Nursing, and Public Health Schools in Developing Countries. The board—as part of our work to strengthen preservice education and training—will help to address management issues in health professional schools.

“The global health community needs to urgently support the strengthening of not only the curricula development of medical schools, schools of public health, and nursing schools, but even more so their management capacity and the ability of their deans and other senior leaders to play a prominent role in the health sector and HRH [human resources for health] reforms of their countries,” says Chairperson Dr. Ok Pannenborg. Read more »

Removing the Blindfold: Mapping Health Worker Schools to Improve Education

Shaun NoronhaThe transformative scale-up of health worker education can be like the game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. We know so little about health worker education that it often feels like we’re playing blindfolded.

Recognizing that we can’t really transform health worker education until we know where health schools are located, the World Health Organization organized a panel at the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Bangkok to discuss global mapping of health worker educational institutions.

I was invited to speak about the mapping of nursing schools. Read more »

Conventional and Thai Traditional Medicine: Visiting Uthong Hospital

At Uthong Hospital—a 150-bed community facility in Amphur-Uthong, Supanburi Province, Thailand—I had the opportunity to learn how the staff integrate both conventional medicine and Thai traditional therapies. Located about two hours away from Bangkok, the field trip was part of the busy week-long events at the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health. Read more »

Exploring the Siriraj Hospital at the Second Global Forum on HRH

Shaun NoronhaDespite the 6:30 a.m. reporting time, the field trip to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok—part of the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health—turned out to be one of the best events of the week.

Siriraj Hospital, part of Mahidol University, is the oldest and largest hospital in Thailand. We were told that the attached medical school produces about a quarter of all Thai medical graduates.

Besides its numerical strength, the school also pays great attention to a number of issues relevant to the transformative scale-up of health worker education. Read more »

Not Training: Educating Health Workers in the 21st Century

Shaun Noronha“We don’t train health workers. We train dogs. We educate health workers,” said David Gordon, visiting professor at the World Federation for Medical Education, to participants at the World Health Organization (WHO)/ PEPFAR consultation meeting on the transformative scale-up of medical, nursing, and midwifery education.

Held in Geneva in December, this high-level consultation brought together global, country, and institutional leaders from both the health worker education and health sectors in order to develop an opinion base and engage stakeholders for cooperative success.

Transformative scale-up
While the guidelines on transformative scale-up are still being written, this new concept recognizes two paradigms. Read more »

Tracking and Counting 140,000 New Health Workers

Dana SingletonThe PEPFAR Monitoring and Evaluation and Human Resources for Health Technical Working Groups asked CapacityPlus to develop tools and guidance to support country team efforts in tracking and counting the new health workers being trained with PEPFAR support.

As part of its reauthorization, PEPFAR now includes an indicator that mandates its contribution to addressing the health workforce crisis. The legislation states that PEPFAR will “…help partner countries to train and support retention of health care professionals and paraprofessionals, with the target of training and retaining at least 140,000 new health [workers].”

Conducting interviews
Dykki Settle and I began this work by conducting telephone interviews with 13 PEPFAR country teams to determine what activities were underway to increase health worker production, and what activities were being counted toward the 140,000. We then visited Tanzania to further explore these trends. After analyzing all of these data, one main ground truth emerged—it takes a systems approach to produce health workers. Read more »

Ghana Looking to Score Big on Training Goals

Paul MarsdenAt my hotel in Accra, Ghana, there's a buzz of activity throughout the first week in October, as the national football team—the Black Stars of Ghana—converged for the first home match since their successful World Cup campaign in South Africa. For me, this trip was also a homecoming. Until this past year when I’ve resided in Washington, DC, I’d spent the better part of the last 20 years living in Africa.

However, my trip to Ghana with colleague Anne Wilson was not for football. Our brief was to look at preservice training of the health workforce, with a busy schedule of discussions, meetings, and field visits with stakeholders and implementing partners—including the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, the Health Workforce Observatory, and the main health training schools and teaching hospitals. Read more »

CapacityPlus Joins the Private Sector Working Group

Subrata RouthAs part of CapacityPlus’s commitment to advancing private-sector solutions for human resources for health, in October we joined the newly relaunched Private Sector Working Group (PSWG). This is a broad-based forum comprised of USAID, its implementing partners, and a number of other multilaterals and foundations such as the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

PSWG’s new role
With the growing role of the private sector in health and enlargement of the membership base, the PSWG is indeed challenged with a number of critical issues concerning expectation management and prioritization of activities. In the October 26 meeting participants asked:

  • What private sector engagements should PSWG focus on in the future—the not-for-profit private sector, commercial private sector, or both?
  • Which topics and issues are most relevant for the PSWG to address, based on the programmatic priorities of the health sector in developing countries as well as the scope of the group?
  • What are the best activities for the PSWG to pursue to most successfully contribute to its above-mentioned goals?

PSWG members will have the opportunity to voice their ideas on these and other questions in an upcoming online survey. Read more »

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