The Afya Elimu Fund, Swahili for Health Education, will provide loans to students in Kenya who pursue an education in health care. Like many countries around the world, Kenya is facing a severe shortage of health care workers. IntraHealth International aims to combat the problem through training, education and strategic deployment. The goal of the fund is to increase the number of health workers in Kenya, improve access and health care services, and improve the retention of health workers.
There is a desperate shortage of health care workers around the world. At IntraHealth International, our mission is to increase the number of health care workers who are present, ready, connected and safe.
Scholarship funds are successful in allowing needy students to continue their education, but they are not sustainable in the long term. A revolving health education loan fund expands access for health workers and provides longer-term support to the health-training sector. A sustainable loan program ensures that the health workforce will continually grow, while also addressing retention issues. Students will no longer drop out of school because they cannot afford the bus fare to get there.
The interest accrued on the student loans distributed will be reinvested into the Afya Elimu fund, and coupled with donor support, will become self-sustaining and fill over 6% of the health worker gap, or, approximately 2,500 students by the year 2016.