General Health

General health issues, Medical conditions, Research and studies and more

Mental Health

Natural Medicine

Nutritional supplements, Herbs, Alternative medicine and more…

Wellness & Lifestyle

Nutrition, Diets, Healthy living, Detox, Exercise and Physical Fitness, Sports Fitness and more…

Women’s Health

Relationships, Pregnancy, Birth control, Menopause and more

Home » Information, News

How Rwanda Is Dramatically Expanding Its Health Workforce

Article / Review by on November 21, 2013 – 10:07 pmNo Comments

How Rwanda Is Dramatically Expanding Its Health Workforce
Innovative partnership aims to bridge human resource

On the heels of a World Health Organization warning in Brazil last week that the world faces a shortage of 7.2 million health workers, a special report published Nov. 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine marks a pivot away from short-term missions and contracts toward long-term partnerships to bridge workforce gaps. The report details the largest-scale global health partnership ever initiated between American universities and a low-income country: Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health Program.

HRH aims to dramatically increase the number, quality and skill level of Rwandan clinicians and health sciences educators. Image: Human Resources for Health

Announced by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2012, Human Resources for Health is a seven-year, $150 million collaboration between the U.S. and Rwandan governments and 25 leading U.S. academic institutions. Former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Ambassador for Global Health Diplomacy Eric Goosby—senior author on the article—launched the program in Kigali in 2012.

Under the program, each year more than 100 American health care professionals from medicine, nursing and midwifery, dentistry and health management work in Rwanda alongside Rwandan faculty to build residency programs, strengthen instruction quality and substantially increase the output of new health workers.

“Rwanda’s example, and the Human Resources for Health Program in particular, have the potential to transform global health by serving as a model for any country that wants to increase the efficiency of foreign aid and improve the health of its people. The launch of this program has been the highlight of a decade of partnership, and I’m excited by its possibilities,” said President Clinton.

Since 2000, Rwanda has reduced mortality due to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria by nearly 80 percent, and the country’s life expectancy has more than doubled since the mid-1990s. As deaths from major infectious diseases have plummeted and as HIV patients live longer, chronic non-communicable diseases account for a growing proportion of Rwanda’s disease burden—especially among the HIV-positive patient cohort, the researchers said.

Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health Program will increase the number of Rwandan faculty available to train future health professionals. , the program aims to build the health education infrastructure and workforce needed to create a sustainable and advanced health care system.

“By simply reallocating existing funds, this partnership is allowing Rwanda to move from a brain drain to a brain gain of unprecedented magnitude in the health sector,” said Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, a senior lecturer in global health at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the article. “Together, we are training a highly skilled health workforce built to last, and equipping them with the tools they need to save lives. In essence, we are investing in Rwanda’s greatest resource: its people.”

The program’s $150 million budget is comprised of reallocated funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that is channeled directly to the Rwandan Ministry of Health, along with support from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In what the authors describe as an unprecedented move to improve efficiency of existing foreign aid, the U.S. government redirected funds from projects completed by non-governmental organizations to the Ministry of Health, lowering administrative costs and freeing funds for the new program.

Because every American university partner agreed to no overhead and less than 7 percent administrative costs, Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health Program represents a unique model for foreign aid focused on greater efficiency, country ownership and sustainable development, the authors said.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative has helped to convene the American consortium of schools and academic medical centers.

“At its very best, academic medicine integrates service delivery, teaching and research in a virtuous cycle. For Harvard and our many American partners in this consortium, contributing to this program has been an opportunity to not only serve and improve care delivery in Rwanda, but also to learn much that we can apply back in the United States,” said Paul Farmer, co-founder of the nonprofit Partners In Health, Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University and chair of the HMS Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.

According to the plan, by the program’s conclusion in 2018, Rwanda’s specialist physician capacity will have more than tripled, and the proportion of the country’s nurses with advanced training will have increased by more than 500 percent. The authors anticipate that an additional 550 physicians, 2,800 nurses and midwives, 300 oral health professionals and 150 health managers will have been newly trained in Rwanda—all of whom will have signed contracts to work in the country for a certain number of years based on the degree they obtain. Thereafter, the authors say, the Rwandan government plans to fully finance the health workforce and medical education system on its own.

Adapted from a Human Resources for Health Program news release.

###

About Harvard Medical School (HMS)

Driving Change. Building Momentum. Making History.

“Since 1872, Harvard Medical School has been the incubator of bold ideas—a place where extraordinary people advance education, science and health care with unrelenting passion.

Whether training tomorrow’s doctors and scientists, decoding the fundamental nature of life, advancing patient care or improving health delivery systems around the world, we are never at rest. Allied with some of the world’s best hospitals, research institutes and a University synonymous with excellence, the School’s mission remains as ambitious as it is honorable: to alleviate human suffering caused by disease.”

More at Harvard Medical School & Harvard Medical School. Generations of Leaders.

Harvard Medical School. Medicinezine.com Harvard Medical School (HMS) logo

_________________________________________________

###

About Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)

Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the public’s health through learning, discovery and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children’s health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights.

More at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) & Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). History.

Medicinezine.com Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Logo 540 ok

_________________________________________________

###

About Harvard University.

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. Harvard faculty are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. For students who are excited to investigate the biggest issues of the 21st century, Harvard offers an unparalleled student experience and a generous financial aid program, with over $160 million awarded to more than 60% of our undergraduate students. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education.

‘Universities nurture the hopes of the world: in solving challenges that cross borders; in unlocking and harnessing new knowledge; in building cultural and political understanding; and in modeling environments that promote dialogue and debate… The ideal and breadth of liberal education that embraces the humanities and arts as well as the social and natural sciences is at the core of Harvard’s philosophy. ’/ Drew Gilpin Faust

More About Harvard University & About Harvard University. Information.

###

* The above story is adapted from materials provided by Harvard University

_________________________________________________________________

Medicinezine.com Harvard University Logo

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.