GSK 20% Reinvestment Program
One of the most significant barriers to accessing basic healthcare in less developed countries is a chronic shortage of trained and supported frontline health workers within communities. Inadequate training infrastructure and a lack of availability of basic training resources for pre- and in-service training of middle level health workers, Community Health Workers (CHWs) and health managers are major obstacles to scaling up the development of the health workforce in a majority of these nations.
Since 2011, GSK has partnered with three leading NGOs – AMREF, CARE International and Save the Children, who work with country ministries of health to deliver program in the most under-served communities.
During my recent visit to Amref Head office in Kenya, I met Steve Gikunda, Program Manager for GSK 20% re-investment program. Steve took me through the entire project. While I was listening to him, heart in heart, I felt proud to be in GSK.
AMREF is responsible for Capacity Building Initiatives for Eastern and Southern Africa. In this initiative AMREF run various programs in 13 countries. Amref Health Africa’s partnership with GSK 20% aims at increasing the numbers of trained healthcare workers in rural and marginalized communities to specifically address the health challenges affecting pregnant women and under-fives and therefore Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 in East and Southern Africa.
The main focus of interventions is on capacity building and training of MLHWs and CHWs and in empowering communities in the target countries, in partnership with Ministries of Health (MoHs) and other private and NGO partners identified by Amref Health Africa and/or GSK. Broadly these programs can be divided on 2 parameters.
- Pre-service: In these programs naive students are taken and trained to be Skilled Health care workers.
- In-service: In this initiative, community health care workers are trained to upgrade their skills
GSK collaborates with AMREF for capacity building in Healthcare in 13 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa
Most of these programs are run directly by AMREF in partnership with Ministries of Health in various countries or through Partners (other NGOs, Institutes, and Universities etc)
In spite of various challenges like Language (Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau are Portuguese speaking countries whereas Madagascar, Senegal are French speaking countries), Cultural differences, Government policies & expectation and most importantly, monitoring 13 projects each very different from other. Remarkably most of the project are running as scheduled.
Two hours spent with Steve on understanding all the aspects on 20% reinvestment project was one most significant time that I spent in Kenya.