Program to send doctors and nurses to help Liberia rebuild its health care system
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29, 2016 – Today, the Peace Corps announced the expansion of the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), a collaboration between the Peace Corps, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Seed Global Health. To support Liberia’s efforts to improve its medical infrastructure following a devastating Ebola outbreak, the program will send physicians and nurses to work with local medical professionals to build institutional capacity and help strengthen the quality of medical education.
According to the World Health Organization’s most recent health workforce statistics, there are fewer than two physicians and 27 nurses per 100,000 individuals in Liberia, compared to 245 physicians and 980 nurses per 100,000 individuals in the U.S. The government of Liberia has developed a health workforce program strategy to rebuild and strengthen their healthcare system from the devastating effects of the civil conflict that ended in 2003 and the recent Ebola epidemic. The strategy calls for an additional 6,000 health workers over the next 6 years. The GHSP program will contribute to the government of Liberia’s plan to increase the number of nurses, midwives, and physicians, which will help mitigate an expected increase in maternal and infant mortality rates.
Since GHSP launched in 2012, 97 nurse and physician educators with expertise in 18 medical and nursing specialties have served in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. Over the first two years, the Volunteers contributed over 85,000 service hours to reach more than 7,000 students, fellow faculty and other health professional trainees through teaching in over 300 courses and trainings.
The Global Health Service Partnership continues to grow, with the announcement in November 2015 of the expansion to Swaziland starting with the 2016 – 17 academic cycle. Nearly one-third of the Volunteers placed in 2015 have requested to extend their 12-month service, and a record number of applications were received in 2015. GHSP will send more than 65 nurse and physician educators to five countries in 2016.
To learn more about the Global Health Service Partnership and application process, visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/globalhealth.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About PEPFAR: The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease internationally. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information, visit www.pepfar.gov.
About Seed Global Health: Seed Global Health (Seed) strives to strengthen health education and delivery in places facing a dire shortage of health professionals by working with partner countries to meet their long-term health carehuman resource needs. Seed’s flagship program, the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), is a joint initiative with the Peace Corps and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Supported by its academic partner, The Massachusetts General Hospital, Seed works with partner countries to place US doctors and nurses alongside local faculty to educate and mentor the next generation of medical and nursing professionals in Malawi, Tanzania andUganda. Visit www.seedglobalhealth.org for more information.