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Improving Medical Education in Africa

Faculty will help modernize medical school curricula in Nigeria

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October 8, 2010

CHICAGO --- Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is among the U.S. medical schools and universities involved in an initiative to invest $130 million over five years to transform African medical education and dramatically increase the number of health workers.

Through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), faculty at the Center for Global Health at Feinberg will participate in a consortium to enhance medical knowledge and skills at the six leading medical schools in Nigeria. The consortium, led by the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, will emphasize excellence in health service delivery to the community and will develop clinical and translational research competencies of medical students, physician trainees, and public health graduate students. Drs. David Olaleye and Isaac Adewole, who are both faculty at University of Ibadan and adjunct professors at Feinberg, are the Principal Investigators on the award.  Dr. Robert L. Murphy, Director of the Center for Global Health, is the Project Director for Northwestern University. 

The Medical Education Partnership Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“We must dramatically transform African medical education to increase the number of qualified care providers available and develop the scientific expertise needed for research and innovation,” said Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the Department of State. “This expertise will empower countries to lead health programs and fulfill their responsibility for the health of their people.”  The Center for Global Health currently has two additional awards in Nigeria, one through PEPFAR and the other through the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health.  The MEPI award furthers Northwestern’s presence and expertise around global health issues in Nigeria.

Grants have been awarded directly to African institutions in a dozen countries and the initiative includes a network of about 30 regional partners, country health and education ministries and more than 20 U.S. collaborators.

The goal is to retain 140,000 new health care workers and improve the capacity of partner countries to deliver primary health care.

More information about the program is available here.

See the Fogarty International Center press release here.

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