Africa bears one-quarter of the global burden of disease, yet has only 3% of the world’s healthcare workers. Millions of people across the continent suffer needlessly simply because they cannot access medical care from trained personnel. Furthermore, people in rural communities, like ours, have virtually no access to medical specialists, with only a handful in the entire country and those residing in city centers. When doctors complete their internships and are sent into the field to work, they typically find themselves trying to treat the sickest of patients, even performing emergency surgeries, without specialty training and without the professional support of seasoned colleagues. And this, after just 5 years of medical school and a one year internship. The same goes for nurses fresh out of nursing school, who very often find themselves caring for patients who would be in an ICU situation in the developed world.
Providing our healthcare workers with continuing medical education opportunities, and professional support is central to FAME’s mission. These opportunities are provided on-campus in three ways; 1) through our volunteer program in which visiting professionals from overseas medical communities share their knowledge and expertise; 2) through online consultation with doctors representing a wide spectrum of medical specialties, and, 3) through technology, providing internet access and distance learning options for professional development.
Additionally, our sponsorship program enables us to provide a limited number of carefully selected FAME staff members with off-campus higher education and training opportunities designed to equip them with new knowledge and skills relevant to providing quality medical care for our patients.