Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Global Health Corps Partner to Improve Health Capacity in Malawi
August 9, 2010
Stephanie Bowen, U.S.
Eric Kilongi, Kenya
Partnership to address short term human resource gaps and longer term capacity issues
– The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Global Health Corps (GHC) are joining forces to improve health services and contribute to a strong and lasting health workforce in Malawi. As one of only 15 GHC partner organizations, the Foundation is honored to be part of a unique collaboration aimed at addressing both short term human resource gaps and longer term capacity building in its efforts to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS.
The partnership will place two GHC fellows, one Malawian and one American, to work in the Foundation’s Malawi program for one year. Through their targeted work, the fellows will provide valuable capacity to support the Foundation’s work in HIV prevention, care, and treatment services for women, children, and families, while garnering their own first-hand experience in global health. The GHC-Foundation fellows represent only the second “class” of GHC fellows to work in Malawi, and are important trailblazers in this new partnership.
“Our partnership with GHC directly addresses the human resource gaps we face routinely in Malawi,” said Patricia Mbetu, Foundation country director in Malawi. “It not only enhances the ability of our programs to reach more children and their families, but by training Malawi nationals, we are also creating sustainability.”
Like many African nations, Malawi experiences severe shortages of trained health workers to manage and deliver health services. And to achieve the Foundation’s mission of eliminating pediatric HIV, Malawi and other sub-Saharan African nations will need to increase the number of trained public health personnel and shore up the capacity of the existing workforce. This partnership will do both; it will help strengthen the capacity of young public health leaders from both Malawi and the United States, and give them an equal platform to effectively address global health issues.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Global Health Corps,” said Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. “In addition to each fellow informing the other’s work for years to come, our staff and those we serve will also benefit from this incredible collaboration and innovative exchange of knowledge.”
“The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is doing incredible work in eliminating pediatric HIV/AIDS, and we are excited that Global Health Corps fellows will have the opportunity to join them in their efforts. The fellows will not only learn from the Foundation staff and the community in which they serve, but also further their own desire and commitment to improve global health equity,” said Barbara Bush, president of Global Health Corps.
Both fellows were selected from a highly competitive pool of young professionals. Mafayo Phiri, from Malawi, is a health economist with a Masters degree in public health from the University of Cape Town. Mara Gordon, from the United States, completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Bryn Mawr College and is planning on starting medical school in 2011. Both will be working together closely to improve the Foundation’s monitoring and evaluation systems that track our progress in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
The Foundation is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, working in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide.
About Global Health Corps
Headed by Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, GHC believes that a global movement of individuals and organizations fighting for improved health outcomes and access to healthcare for the poor is necessary in order to change the unacceptable status quo of extreme inequity. GHC works to build this movement by recruiting, training, and supporting the movement’s future leaders and by diversifying the pool of young people working in global health.