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.
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS
New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
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Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
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Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
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