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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid