News / Africa

US Helps Curb Shortage of Medical Personnel in Malawi

Malawi President Joyce Banda officially launches the global health service partnership at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Peace Corps at Kamuzu Palace (VOA / L. Vintulla)
Malawi President Joyce Banda officially launches the global health service partnership at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Peace Corps at Kamuzu Palace (VOA / L. Vintulla)
Lameck Masina
In Malawi, the United States government has embarked on a three-year effort to increase human resource capacity for the country's health sector.  The Global Health Service Partnership Program comes as the US Peace Corps celebrate 50 years of work in the Malawi.

The program is a public-private collaboration of the Peace Corps,  the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Seed Global Health.  The NGO sends nurses and doctors abroad to be medical educators.

Vanessa Kerry, the chief executive Officer for the organization, describes the country's health needs.

“It has a very high maternal mortality rate with 460 mothers die for every 100,000 live births compared to the United States where only 21[mothers] die for every 100,000 live births," she said, "and we know that with simple intervention we can change that.”

The program – the first of its kind by US Peace Corps in Malawi – will provide health experts to teach in public colleges and universities.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the Peace Corps Acting Director,  said the Global Health Service Partnership Program volunteers will be in class working with fellow professors to teach clinical officers, doctors and nurses on various topics.  They'll also be doing on-the-job mentoring and clinical supervision.

She said the first 11 American doctors and nurses now in the country will be replaced by fifteen others after a year.

She said five physicians have been assigned to teach at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine, four nurses at Kamuzu College of Nursing, and two nurses at Mzuzu University.

Speaking during the official launch of the program, Malawi President Joyce Banda said the effort aims to alleviate the shortage of trained health workers in the country.

“The World Health Organisation recommends the minimum of 23 health workers per 10,000 people to provide the most basic health coverage," she said, "but in Malawi we have fewer than four workers per 10, 000 people.”

The program is a continuation of the Peace Corps’ long relationship with Malawi that began when the first 20 volunteers arrived in early 60’s to teach in secondary schools.

Today, there are 141 volunteers working in education, environment and health sectors. 

President Banda has hailed their contributions.

“The Peace Corps was one of the pioneers in 1992 of community based HIV /AIDS prevention activities in rural Malawi," she said. "This pilot project was so successful that the first standalone HIV/AIDS project in the Peace Corps world was established in Malawi in 1993. Volunteers in this project worked side by side with district AIDS coordinators across the country.”

The Global Health Service Partnership Program has also been introduced in other two African countries of Tanzania and Uganda.

Listen to report on US-backed program to boost medical personnel in Malawi
Listen to report on US-backed program to boost medical personnel in Malawii
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More