Investing in the workforce: The Malamulo scholarship initiative to improve retention of health workers in Thyolo District, a rural district in Malawi. Katharina Hermann¹, Amanda Banda ¹, Joe Kalilangwe², Andrew Likaka², Carol Metcalf 3 , Edwin Nkhono², Paul Moyo 4
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Investing in the workforce: The Malamulo scholarship initiative to improve retention of health workers in Thyolo District, a rural district in Malawi
Katharina Hermann¹, Amanda Banda¹, Joe Kalilangwe², Andrew Likaka², Carol Metcalf3, Edwin Nkhono², Paul Moyo4
¹ Médecins Sans Frontières, Thyolo, Malawi; ² Ministry of Health, Thyolo District, Malawi; 3 Médecins Sans Frontières, Cape Town, South Africa; 4 Malamulo College of Health Sciences, Thyolo, Malawi
"When I was 15 years [old], my sister fell sick and we took her to Thekerani hospital. The queue was so long and there was only one clinician. We arrived at 7 am and my sister died right there in the queue at 2:00 pm, it was very difficult to understand. The death of my sister was due to the shortage of health care workers and I decided to become one."
One of the Malamulo students
WHO 2010 policy recommendations
Education: Use targeted admission policies to enrol students with a rural background in education programmes for various health disciplines, in order to increase the likelihood of graduates choosing to practice in rural areas.
Regulatory interventions: Provide scholarships, bursaries or other education subsidies with enforceable agreements of return of service in rural or remote areas to increase recruitment of health workers in these areas.
“There are so many patients here to see... sometimes people wait for hours to be attended to. Yesterday I was alone on duty without even an MA [Medical Assistant] to help me. Sometimes I have to do both day and night shifts in the same day! We need at least five more nurses here.”
Figure 1. Expected year of deployment by cadre
CONTACT:Amanda Banda, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: + 265 1 844 409, Website: www.msf.org