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Our mission is to positively impact the shortage of healthcare providers in developing countries. In countries like Malawi, there is an estimated 2 doctors per 100,000 people compared to 200-300 per 100,000 in developed countries. Through our programs, we aim to increase the number of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists by focusing on increasing the access to health professional training at the undergraduate level.
We work closely alongside universities to identify students who are socially and economically disadvantaged and therefore at high risk of dropping out of their courses due to financial difficulties. Students are selected according to criteria that both seek to widen access to health worker training (e.g. students with non-professional parents, female students, or those who have attended government schools) and increase the likelihood of working in rural areas after graduation so expanding access to healthcare for these populations (e.g. rural upbringing, training in regional institutions). By focusing on students who have already gained admission to the universities, we avoid increasing the number of students in the courses to an unsustainable level or supporting students who are not likely to be successful academically.
We currently support over 50 students and we are particularly excited about impacting three-fold beneficiaries: the disadvantaged young people gaining a profession, their families who will benefit from a stable income thus breaking the cycle of poverty, and the thousands of future patients who will benefit from their skills over their working life. We are proud to have supported 5% of Malawi’s total number of doctors since we started in that country in 2007.