The Afya Bora Fellowship: An Innovative Program Focused on Creating an Interprofessional Network of Leaders in Global Health

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Abstract

Problem

Most current health professions education programs are focused on the development of clinical skills. As a result, they may not address the complex and interconnected nature of global health. Trainees require relevant clinical, programmatic, and leadership skills to meet the challenges of practicing in an increasingly globalized environment.

Approach

To develop health care leaders within sub-Saharan Africa, the Afya Bora Consortium developed a one-year fellowship for medical doctors and nurses. Fellows from nine institutions in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa participate in 12 learning modules focused on leadership development and program management. Classroom-based training is augmented with an experiential apprenticeship component.

Outcomes

Since 2011, 100 fellows have graduated from the program. During their apprenticeships, fellows developed projects beneficial to their development and to host organizations. The program has developed fellows’ skills in leadership, lent expertise to local organizations, and built knowledge in local contexts. Most fellows have returned to their countries of origin, thus building local capacity. U.S.-based fellows examine global health challenges from regional perspectives and learn from sub-Saharan African experts and peers.

Next Steps

The Consortium provides ongoing support to alumni through career development awards and alumni network engagement with current and past fellow cohorts. The Consortium expanded from its initial network of five countries to six and continues to seek opportunities for geographical and institutional expansion.

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