Due to the high increase in demand for training at the AMREF International Training Centre in Nairobi, AMREF is constructing an annex that will increase facilities for training health practitioners in Africa. The ground-breaking ceremony of the annex was held on Tuesday 11, December 2012, with a representative from USAID, Mr Vincent Odhiambo, presiding over the occassion.
USAID, through the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), has provided US$400,000, for expansion of the training facilities. Additional funding through AMREF USA, AMREF Germany and AMREF Austria will ensure completion of the annex, which will have a total of 1,150 square metres of floor space and will accomodate over 200 additional students. The annex will consist of classrooms, lecture theatres and an eLearning centre.
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to grapple with the burden of preventable and treatable diseases that cause unneccessary death due to a shortage of health workers. According to the World Health Organisation, Africa has a shortage of approximately 800,000 health workers including physicians, nurses, midwives and community health workers. One of the major causes of the shortage is the lack of adequate training infrastructure.
AMREF International Training Centre has since 1987 contributed to increasing the numbers of skilled health workers in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond by offering a wide range of training programmes for mid-level tosenior level health workers. In recent years, there has been increased demand by governments and health professionals for technical, leadership and governance training courses. In response, AMREF has introduced additional programmes such as Masters in Public Healthin collaboration with Moi University; Bachelor of Science in Nursing in collaboration with the University of Nairobi; Bachelor of Science in Community Health the Kenya Methodist University; an e-learning upgrading programme for nurses in Kenya; the Management Development Institute in collaboration with University of California in Los Angeles; Gender in Health and Development; and Health Systems Research and Strategic Leadership and Management.
ASHA has continously supported AMREF in development of infrastructure to improve skills and knowledge of health workers. This includes construction and equipping of the Michael Wood Clinical Laboratory; equipping and furnishing of the AMREF International Training Centre; equipping and furnishing of the AMREF Tanzania laboratory and Resource Centre; construction of classrooms, dormitories and a dinning hall at the National Health Training Institute in South Sudan as well as renovation of staff quarters at the school.