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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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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