IntraHealth International

Our commitment: IntraHealth is a global champion for health workers. We have pledged to double our impact between 2011 and 2015 to ensure that more health workers are present, ready, connected, and safe. Mission: IntraHealth empowers health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. We foster local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. ...
Jan 14, 2016

Looking Ahead to a Healthier Ethiopia

Ethiopian Nursing Students at Graduation
Ethiopian Nursing Students at Graduation

Originating from rural communities, six nursing students studying in Ethiopia's Alkan Health Science College know firsthand the importance of increasing access to primary health care services. They have witnessed the detrimental impact that the lack of access to health workers and health facilities has on their community.

When nursing student Almaz was asked why she decided to become a nurse she said, “to help people who are sick and need help and to reduce the risk of [illness] caused by lack of health professionals.” She was also asked about her plans after graduation. “Most of my colleagues and classmates have a plan to upgrade their profession to a degree level and I am one of them. This will be possible after one year of experience. We plan to fulfill the requirements for the upgrading program and I expect that we will stay connected after graduating in such a way.”

Fellow nursing student Fatuma decided to become a nurse after she “observed that there are people who are suffering from lack of health professionals and health infrastructure.” When asked how she would stay in touch with her colleagues she said, “I hope to stay connected with my colleagues and classmates through our professional associations.” Her hope for the future is, “to help people with my profession together with God.”

When asked what motivated her to become a nurse, nursing student Tsehay said, “I decided to become a nurse to help humans. I observed that people in my locality, even in my family, have no idea about the scientific medication. Hence, I like to be part of the health professionals to help those people and to give awareness on the importance of the scientific medications.” She notes that part of this challenge will include educating her community of the limitations of some of the traditional medical practices.

Nursing student Haymanot said she was motivated to become a nurse to make a positive impact in her community, but also has ambitions to improve the medical community on a grander scale. In her words, “I am motivated to give service for the community and my country in the health profession.” She, like Almaz, Fatuma, and Tsehay, plans to stay connected with her colleagues in the years following graduation through professional associations.

“I was motivated to become a nurse in my local area Afar Region as there are no health professionals [there currently]”said nursing student Hawa. She continues, “I observed people suffering from lack of these professionals. Hence, I need to be part of this profession to help those people.”

Eyerus, who is currently studying to become a nurse, hopes to expand her training after graduation. She sees her nurse training as a first step towards her goal to become a medical doctor. “My hope was to be a doctor, but since I was not successful with the ESLCE result I planned to be a nurse and then upgrade my profession.”

These students are dedicated to improving access to health care by becoming a health worker themselves and are committed to returning to their native communities as that is where their motivation was born.

Oct 15, 2015

Quarterly Report

Many of Kenya’s health professional students are unable to pay their annual tuition fees—approximately 70,000 Kenyan Shillings ($767) for most public middle-level colleges that offer certificate and diploma programs—leading to a high drop-out rate. As a result, Kenya has a serious shortage of health workers, with only 1 doctor, nurse, or midwife for every 1,000 people. This is significantly lower than the World Health Organization’s minimum recommendation of 2.3 doctors, nurses, and midwives for the same amount of people. Kenya’s growing population puts a further strain on the health workforce.

Afya Elimu Fund loans were created to combat this problem. These loans are offered to students enrolled in accredited nursing, clinical medicine, laboratory sciences, nutrition, and health records information programs. Students apply for the loan to cover their tuition fees, and can receive a maximum of 70,000 Kenya shillings ($767) a year. 

This fund will remain active and IntraHealth will continue to work with its partners including the FUNZOKenya project, the Higher Education Loans Board, and the Kenya Healthcare Federation, but will no longer offer giving opportunioties through Global Giving.

Please stay in touch with IntraHealth by signing up for our news letter at www.intrahealth.org.

Thank you for your support!

Sep 16, 2015

Joining Health Worker Organizations

The nursing students at Alkan University have almost completed their training and are beginning to look towards the future and their interactions with Ethiopia’s professional health councils, and also think about how they will stay in contact as they move back to their home towns or other rural communities in Ethiopia to practice.

Part of their training includes interactions with a variety of health professional organizations, though the majority of their first three years of training was spent on studies, as Tsehay points out: “In the last three years I gave my major time to my education and I had no time to interact with professional associations. But now I am on the way for graduation and can participate in different professional activities.” These activities include both professional groups organized under the ministry of health and the government, and non-governmental associations. Every student, in order to get their professional license, is required to join the government organized system. This way, all health workers in the country are registered, and the government can best identify where more health workers are needed.

The students are now eagerly preparing for their last certification examination, which will allow them to practice. Eyerus says, “I am prepared to take the last COC examination which is a prerequisite to get my professional license from the above mentioned organization and be part of the health professionals.”. These professional organizations are also the main way the students anticipate staying in touch with one another.

Almaz even talks about pursuing an advanced degree in nursing, and shares this goal with many of her colleagues. She comments, “Most of my colleagues and classmates have a plan to upgrade their profession to degree level and I am one of them. This will be possible after one year experience…I expect that will help me stay connected with my colleagues and classmates after graduation.”.

Having strong professional organizations help build Ethiopia’s health worker work force and we are so proud of these students for becoming a part of these many organizations.

 

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