Wednesday, August 17, 2022

School of Medicine receives P68 million from U.S. Government

The University Of Botswana School Of Medicine has received a P68 million grant from the United States Government as part of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), which will be received over a five-year period.

MEPI grants, which are funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will provide up to $130 million over five years in grants to African institutions in a dozen countries, forming a network of about 30 regional partners, country health and education ministries, and more than 20 U.S. collaborators.

“I am extremely pleased that Botswana has been selected to participate in this major initiative to improve medical education across Africa,” said United States Ambassador to Botswana, Stephen J. Nolan, to UB Medical Students.

Nolan said while Botswana has made tremendous progress in addressing its health challenges, much work remains to be done.

“It is clear that human resources and capacity building are key to greater success, which is why this program is so important,” he said, adding that “the smart partnership of U.S. funding assistance working alongside the educational expertise at the University of Botswana and two of the best medical schools in the U.S. will make dramatic steps forward in building the human capacity to meet Botswana’s health challenges”.

Nolan said Botswana should be happy because they are part of an incredibly powerful network and have the capacity of improving health delivery in Africa.

Through MEPI, the University Of Botswana School Of Medicine will partner with the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania to strengthen medical education, train health care workers, and improve Botswana’s capacity to deliver health care.

The Dean of the School of Medicine, Thomas Massaro, said SOM is excited about the opportunity, adding that “the grant is timely and we will be able to move at a faster pace than we would have moved without outside assistance”.

UB SOM has proposed a transformative approach to problem-based learning and community-oriented medical education in Botswana.

Massaro said MEPI support is expected to facilitate the integration of public health education and training at the University of Pennsylvania for upper year residents, continuing medical education for clinicians, career development for health professionals, and additional training for UB SOM faculty.

UB SOM intends to develop local research capacity for biomedical, clinical and health services research. MEPI support will facilitate student and faculty exchanges for those wishing to conduct research in the basic and clinical sciences.

He said the Health Services Research Unit (HSRU) will be created and will serve as a hub for innovative health services research and multidisciplinary, locally-driven research training at the UB SOM and in the Southern African region.

Through MEPI UB SOM seeks to transform current HIV clinical outreach sites into general medical educational facilities that enhance learning opportunities for students while improving access to clinical services for high risk populations.

Massaro said a new faculty of health sciences is being built on the main UB Campus to house pre-clinical teaching and research facilities. He said construction is scheduled for completion in July 2011 and a new 450ÔÇôbed academic hospital on the UB Campus and is scheduled to be ready for use in 2014.

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