XIX International AIDS Conference

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WEPE696 - Poster Exhibition


The PEPFAR Medical Education Partnership Initiative: strengthening human resources for health

C. Jeffries1, C. Lim1, M. Brewinski-Isaacs1, J. Morales1, L. Cheever2

1HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Office of Global HIV/AIDS, Rockville, United States, 2HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Rockville, United States

Background: Sub-Saharan Africa carries 24% of the world´s disease burden but has only three percent of the global health workforce. Trained staff and faculty are migrating to countries with higher salaries, stable working environments, and strong public health systems, draining their home countries of precious human resources for health. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of child health, maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS will be very difficult if there is not an increase in quality health workers trained in areas relevant to the disease burden in their countries.
Methods: The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a PEPFAR program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was developed to address the above issues. The goals of the $130 million, five-year MEPI are to increase the number and quality of health workers and medical faculty who are trained and retained in their home countries to provide services and conduct locally-relevant research. Grants were awarded to thirteen African medical schools in twelve countries and one U.S.-based coordinating center. Several of the schools have partnered with other African and U.S.-based institutions to broaden their reach.
Results: The MEPI schools have developed new, relevant medical and nursing school curricula utilizing traditional and electronic media to reach rural and urban areas; trained hundreds of doctors and nurses in short courses; developed South to South relationships with other African medical institutions, invented programs to increase medical staff retention in their respective countries; and strengthened their research capacity.
Conclusions: The MEPI has made significant positive contributions to the strengthening of African health care systems, and will continue to make those contributions, by providing expert and financial assistance to nations in the training and retention of physicians and health workers.

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