The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief will implement a USD20 million program that aims to address the shortage of health workers engaged in AIDS programs in Africa.
The program will support the second phase of PEPFAR engagement in Africa, through which the U.S. seeks to provide treatment to more than 4 million AIDS patients, prevent 12 million new infections and extend medical care to at least 12 million people living with HIV.
“To meet these goals, PEPFAR will need to support the training of large numbers of new healthcare workers in order to deliver the services,” Deborah von Zinkernagel, the deputy U.S. global AIDS coordinator, told Voice of America.
Von Zinkernagel, who was in Austria for the 18th International AIDS Conference, explained that the PEPFAR initiative includes a legislative mandate to increase the number of health workers in recipient African countries by 140,000. The mandate covers efforts for training and retaining health workers, she added.
“The Medical and Nursing Education Partnership Initiative is USD20 million set aside this year to expand the clinical capacity and clinical quality of African medical and nursing schools and to strengthen these institutions in their mission.”
The first part of the initiative will benefit nine African medical schools with active partnerships with U.S. medical universities, VOA reports.