Human resource challenges in healthcare delivery in African communities
This edition showcases work from South Africa, but having relevance to the African continent as a whole. The papers concerned serendipitously all have the same theme – that of addressing the human resource challenges in healthcare delivery in African communities.
Hugo et al.1 describe the structure of the curriculum that has been developed to provide South Africa’s underserved populations with ‘generalist’ practitioners who work in district level hospitals under the supervision of doctors. The first graduates of this curriculum, rolled out at three of SA’s eight Health Sciences Faculties, are now at work and a recent evaluation2 has confirmed the success of this educational strategy in boosting health delivery personnel.
Draper et al.3 describe development of a standardised patient programme in the primary healthcare-orientated MB ChB curriculum that has been in place for the last decade at the University of Cape Town. They describe the usefulness of such a programme as a stepping stone to ‘real’ patient interaction in the third year for second-year students who currently have no ward or clinician time.
Oltmann4 describes use of aspects of Bernstein’s pedagogic device to review and re-align the pharmacy curriculum at Rhodes University while colleagues Srinivas and Wrench5 of the School of Pharmacy at the same institution describe an innovative service-learning elective aimed at teaching final-year pharmacy students about the key role they can play in health promotion in a country – mirroring those in the rest of the continent, where there is double jeopardy in the burden of disease borne by the populace in the form of infectious disease and non-communicable disease.
The importance of e-learning in serving SA’s future dentists, facilitating learning in paediatric dentistry, is highlighted and evaluated in the paper by Mohamed and Peerbhay6 of the University of the Western Cape.
The need to assist radiographers in achieving qualifications in the specialised radiology fields that characterise modern radiological diagnosis and ways to achieve this is the substance of an elegant qualitative and quantitative study by Du Plessis et al.7 of the Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein.
Finally, since progress in healthcare depends on research, a single faculty’s strategy to develop research capacity is elegantly outlined in the report from Frantz8 of the Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Western Cape. And Madzima et al.9 describe the creation of a rich pilot course, tailored for Africa and aimed at offering junior oncology professionals (trainees and junior staff) training-in-context in research methods, data management and statistics.
Lastly, colleagues will be delighted to share in the good news that AJHPE has been accredited for inclusion in the Department of Higher Education and Training’s approved list of South African journals.
1. Hugo JFM, Slabbert J, Louw JM, Marcus TS, du Toit PH, Sandars JE. The clinical associate curriculum – the learning theory underpinning the BCMP programme at the University of Pretoria. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):128-131. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.188].
2. Doherty J, Couper I, Fonn S. Will clinical associates be effective for South Africa? S Afr Med J 2012;102(11):833-835. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.5960]
3. Draper CE, Moller N, Aubin L, Edelstein G, Weiss R. Developing a standardised patient programme in a primary healthcare curriculum: A needs analysis. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):97-101. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.170]
4. Oltmann C. Using aspects of Bernstein's pedagogic device to review and re-align the pharmacy curriculum at Rhodes University. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):96. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.103]
5. Srinivas SC, Wrench WW. Evaluation of a service-learning elective as an approach to enhancing the pharmacist's role in health promotion in South Africa. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):107-111. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.108]
6. Mohamed N, Peerbhay F. Introducing dental students to e-learning at a South African University. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):123-127. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.179]
7. Du Plessis J, Friedrich-Nel H, van Tonder F. A postgraduate qualification in the specialisation fields of diagnostic radiography: A needs assessment. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):112-117. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.160]
8. Frantz JM. A faculty development strategy among academics to promote the scholarship of research. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):118-122. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.177]
9. Madzima TR, Abuidris D, Badran A, et al. A pilot course for training-in-context in statistics and research methods: Radiation oncology. African Journal of Health Professions Education 2012;4(2):102-106. [http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.157]
AJHPE 2012;4(2):95. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.206
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