Faced with severe shortages of physicians, low income countries must build capacity among lower cadres of health care workers who can deliver health services to rural communities. This is the goal of an innovative program recently introduced by CapacityPlus, a USAID-funded global project uniquely focused on the health workforce needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
A pilot project has been launched in Malawi to train Clinical Officers who will work in their own rural communities. Funds raised by Capacity Plus, through the GlobalGiving network, will be used to pay the $7,500 tuition fees for a four-year program at the Malamulo College of Health Sciences.
According to Kate Tulenko, a Deputy Director at CapacityPlus, this program provides a mechanism for Diaspora groups to help fund training for health workers in their country, by making donations as little as $10. Tulenko believes that by training more clinical officers, communities will have greater access to health care and many young people will be placed on a career path that will allow them to both earn a living and serve their community. However, Tulenko noted that the funds raised through GlobalGiving will not replace existing funding for regular students, but will be used to train additional health workers where excess capacity exists.
ANPA President Fiemu Nwariaku said that his organization has forged a strategic partnership with CapacityPlus to identify suitable training centers in Nigeria as future sites for this program.
To support the training of health workers in Malawi, click here.