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.
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy