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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid