U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer on Tuesday presided over the swearing-in of nine Global Health Service (GHSP) Volunteers and also welcomed back two others who have extended their service for a second year.
The group, which comprise specialists in internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, public health, adult medicine/surgery, and paediatrics will teach and provide clinical supervision at the College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing and Mzuzu University for the next one year.
In her remarks, Ambassador Palmer noted that there is a critical mandate in Malawi to increase the number of qualified health workers.
She observed that all who work to support Malawi’s health care system know and understand the immense challenge that the country faces to provide quality care despite a tremendous shortage of qualified health professionals.
“President Obama, in his recent remarks to the people of Africa, talked about ‘dignity – that basic idea that by virtue of our common humanity, no matter where we come from, or what we look like, we are all born equal, touched by the grace of God.’ Nowhere is the need for dignity more evident than in the health sector and I thank you all for the difficult work that you do on behalf of those who are in need,” she said.
GHSP is collaboration between the Peace Corps, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Seed Global Health, to implement a medical teaching and training project.
This public-private partnership places qualified American nurses and physicians as adjunct faculty in medical and nursing schools.
Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda all participate in the pilot program and were identified based on the critical need for qualified health care providers,, which is exacerbated by some of the highest global burden of disease according to the World Health Organization.