Geert Laleman and colleagues from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium quizzed human resource managers from 13 organisations sending volunteers to sub-Saharan Africa, and eight African medical officers with not-for-profit sector experience. In 2005 international health volunteers working in the region did not exceed 5000 full-time equivalent posts. Up to 1500 of these were doctors staying from a couple of weeks to two years. The annual cost to send a volunteer was typically $36 000 - $50 000.
Secular medical humanitarian NGOs, development NGOs and volunteer organisations, such as Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) or the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) have distinct agendas. Young, secular medical organisations (such as Médecins sans Frontières) send the most volunteers – and adding more annually. Junior and inexperienced NGO volunteers were often ill prepared to work in low-income countries, country experts said. Volunteers didn’t always value local knowledge, and increased tension by creating parallel systems or procedures. However, longer-term volunteers to mission hospitals or those seconded by volunteer agencies to government facilities, often with specialist training such as tropical medicine, had a significant local impact on capacity building and resource allocation.
Health managers organise and develop health services for the general population, whereas volunteer organisations do not always fit into such a comprehensive and long-term approach. "Country health service managers in sub-Saharan Africa consider international volunteers as a last resort measure, judging that it is not very cost effective, as compared with investment in local capacity," says Laleman. "In countries in Southern and Eastern Africa hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, the reliance on international health volunteers, especially doctors, is likely to increase."
The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies 36 countries with critical human resource shortages in sub-Saharan Africa. Development work has shifted focus towards long-term partnerships and local recruitment, and many western countries have cut budgets for sending development workers overseas.
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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