Fortis Healthcare, the leading healthcare provider in India, has joined hands with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative to train and enable 100 doctors from 10 African nations in advance medical programmes. This International Clinical Observership Programme, is aimed at enriching doctors from various specialties thereby augmenting clinical expertise in Africa. The goal of this programme is to provide a strong clinical overview of specialties; share evidence based best practices and clinical protocols with the doctors under guidance of eminent clinicians across Fortis network.
During this training programme, doctors from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Algeria, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and many other African nations will be trained for a duration of four weeks per batch. The entire programme is divided in four batches of 25 doctors each. The specialties offered under this programme varies from Bone Marrow Transplant, Fetal Medicine, Cardiology, Anesthesia, Nephrology, Pulmonology etc. By exposing the candidates in the state of the art evidence based prevention, diagnostic and management services, it is expected that the doctors will have ample experience to apply and attempt at solving critical medical cases in their countries.
Speaking about this collaboration, Dr Ritu Garg, Head Clinical Talent and Academics at Fortis Healthcare said, “This is an opportunity to showcase how a PPP model in healthcare can work wonders in supporting developing countries in building clinical capabilities. We are happy to share our expertise with the doctors that will surely help to leverage their learning and improve clinical outcomes when they go back to respective countries. We would also like to extend our humble gratitude to the government of India for providing us with an opportunity to empower and enrich doctors in a bid to build a healthy world.”
On asking the African Doctors to share their experience and views about the observership programme, Dr Privilage D Makanda from Zimbabwe stated ‘’I am enjoying my stay, I have learnt so much from the Nephrology team. I saw so many patients and the doctors we are attached to really love to teach and always try to accommodate us in their discussions. They also gave us some books, which was well appreciated. I will recommend this observership to my friends back home, it’s wonderful.’’
Dr Luth Gregory Mwapule from Tanzania, from other unit of Fortis mentioned ‘’My experience in the unit is very good. The ICU in-charge is very friendly. He engages us in all the discussions, in a short time I have learnt and observed so many procedures. The system of having Pulmonologists in Critical Care is the system we are using back home, so easy for me to understand. Thank you, Fortis Healthcare Ltd. and Ministry of External Affairs, for the opportunity’’
As per recent World Health Organization (WHO) estimates[i], the current workforce in healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa needs to be scaled up by as much as 140% to attain international health development targets like Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Only 59 doctors are produced annually for every 1000 doctors practicing in 12 sub Saharan countries, the report adds. An estimated 1.8 million health workers are required to meet the current demand in these countries[ii]. This is likely shore up to 4.3 million by 2035. It remains a major cause of concern as only 170 medical schools serve 47 countries sub Saharan of Africa. Of these, 6 have no medical schools while 20 have only one medical school[iii].