United State of America (USA) ambassador Virginia Palmer, on Tuesday, presided over the swearing-in ceremony of nine Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) volunteers who comprise specialists in internal medicine obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, public health, adult medicine/surgery, and pediatrics.
At the ceremony, which took place in Lilongwe, Palmer also welcomed back two others who have extended their service for a second year.
According to a statement from the USA Embassy public affairs section released on Wednesday, the volunteers will teach and provide clinical supervision at College of Medicine (COM), Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) and Mzuzu University (Mzuni) for the next one year.
The statement said in her remarks at the ceremony, Palmer noted that there is a critical mandate in Malawi to increase the number of qualified health workers as all who work to support Malawi’s health care system know and understand the immense challenge that the country faces to provide quality care despite a tremendous shortage of qualified health professionals.
“President Obama, in his recent remarks to the people of Africa, talked about “dignity – that basic idea that by virtue of our common humanity, no matter where we come from, or what we look like, we are all born equal, touched by the grace of God.”
“Nowhere is the need for dignity more evident than in the health sector and I thank you all for the difficult work that you do on behalf of those who are in need,” said Palmer.
GHSP is collaboration between the Peace Corps, the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar), and Seed Global Health, to implement a medical teaching and training project.
The partnership places qualified American nurses and physicians as adjunct faculty in medical and nursing schools and Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda all participate in the pilot program.
The three were identified based on the critical need for qualified health care providers, which is exacerbated by some of the highest global burden of disease according to the World Health Organization (WHO).