- A study that could turn around approaches to healthcare and treatment of infectious diseases is to be launched in Uganda, with positive results to be replicated across Africa and other regions.
Pioneered by Accordia Global Health Foundation, under Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) within Uganda's Makerere University, the foundation has received a US$ 12.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support a landmark study to identify most effective and cost-efficient way to prepare healthcare workers in sub-Saharan Africa to treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
The pioneers believe the study results could also have an enormous impact on the way doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals across the continent are trained.
"The grant enables Accordia to further refine our model of best practices in healthcare education, building on our years of experience training health professionals in Africa," said Dr Warner Greene, Accordia president.
Dr Greene also said the research would determine which specific approaches to infectious disease training have the greatest impact on the overall healthcare system, something he said could change how millions of dollars are being spent globally.
On the other hand, Kathy Cahill, deputy director of Integrated Health Solutions Development at Gates Foundation said: "Accordia's research will help inform donors and countries about most effective education and training models for mid-level health care providers in Africa."
Both groups says in Africa, clinical officers, nurses, and other mid-level practitioners outnumber doctors by 6:1, adding that training mid-level practitioners to perform tasks conventionally assigned to doctors could play a vital role in helping sorely strained health workforces in resource-limited settings to better address needs of their patients.
The three year study will take place at 32 sites throughout Uganda, and evaluate impact of new training programme on clinical behaviour and patient health, according to Accordia Foundation. It further said the study will also test whether or not incremental impact of on-site support services relative to classroom training alone can be cost-effective.
Accordia has taken an important role in developing a comprehensive approach to fighting infectious diseases in Africa. The group says its strategy is to invest in African healthcare systems to address today's need to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and to prepare a new generation of African healthcare leaders for tomorrow's challenges.
In 2004, Accordia established the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) within Makerere University as a preeminent centre in sub-Saharan Africa for infectious disease training, treatment and research.
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