This project supports the training of community nursing students in Ethiopia's Alkan Health Science College. Originating from rural communities, the nursing students will complete a 36-month program at Alkan's Dessie campus in the rural highlands of the Amhara region. As they are motivated to return to their remote, mountainous communities after graduating, these individuals will be increasing access to primary health care services for families who struggle to see a health worker.
Shortages of health personnel coupled with limited infrastructure make it difficult for people living in many communities in Ethiopia to access basic health services. By training additional nurses who are from rural and remote communities themselves, then people living in rural, remote an underserved areas will be able to access a health professional who can promote health education, provide primary health care services, and refer very sick patients to higher level health facilities.
Worldwide, 1 billion people living in rural and remote areas never see a health worker. A major impact of training and deploying nurses in underserved areas, such as rural Ethiopia, is improving community linkages with the formal health care system and increasing access to health care. Well-trained community nurses also help to empower community members to take control of their own health. Female nurses are especially instrumental to helping mothers have safe births and raise healthy children.
By training 12 additional community nurses, we are providing 12 remote Ethiopian communities with a health worker. We are also supporting promising young nursing students on a career path that will allow them to serve their community and support themselves for the rest of their lives.