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Global Health Service Corps Should Also Focus On Health Worker Retention

Launched in March 2012 by the Peace Corps, PEPFAR and the Global Health Service Corps, the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) aims to alleviate shortages of health care personnel in Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda by bolstering their medical education programs, Matt Fisher, a research assistant and project coordinator at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), says in the center’s “Smart Global Health” blog. Noting that the “CSIS Global Health Policy Center was fortunate to have the opportunity to play a modest role during the planning stages of this innovative enterprise,” he describes several “potential concerns” surrounding the program’s ability to stop health worker out-migration. “In light of the risk of encouraging greater emigration by providing advanced training opportunities, the GHSP should also emphasize health worker retention,” he writes, concluding, “By broadening its portfolio to emphasize training and retention, the partnership can maximize its positive impact on the Tanzanian, Malawian, and Ugandan health sectors. However, the ultimate effectiveness of this strategy remains to be seen” (3/13).