Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has some of the highest rates of maternal morbidity and mortality and the greatest shortages of healthcare workers. To mitigate this problem the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP; Seed Global Health/Peace Corps) places US physicians and nurses as volunteer faculty in SSA medical and nursing institutions. The purpose of this study was to analyze program impact.METHODS:
Between July 2013 and June 2015, 8 Ob/gyn and midwifery volunteers submitted reports on hours, students and courses taught. Institutional leadership, faculty, and students were also interviewed as part of the qualitative assessment.RESULTS:
To date, the 8 Ob/Gyn and midwifery volunteers, placed at 5 SSA partner institutions, logged 9,750 service-hours, taught 39 women's health courses and trainings, and reached 1,500 students, faculty, and clinical staff members. Volunteers took on secondary projects, such as developing an OB H&P admission form, updating clinical guidelines, providing ultrasound training, and building a maternal education center. Stakeholder interviews revealed that the work of volunteers significantly impacted students, citing improvement in educational quality and clinical supervision. Impact on faculty included workload reduction, introduction of new methodologies, and modeling professional behavior.CONCLUSION:
SSA has high unmet women's healthcare needs and its medical institutions have high unmet academic needs; GHSP volunteers are having a positive impact on Ob/Gyn clinical care and education. This model of sustainable aid in the form of building up human resources for health has the ability to create great short and long-term impact.