Short Research Report

Remembering old partnerships: Networking as new medical schools within BoLeSwa countries

L Badlangana, K Matlhagela, N Tlale

Abstract


In southern Africa, former members of the Botswana-Lesotho-Swaziland (BoLeSwa) partnership, Botswana and Lesotho, have established their first and only publicly funded medical schools in their countries. Swaziland has a private medical school. The three countries have a long history of partnership through
the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) system − a derivative of BoLeSwa. Botswana and Lesotho are also members of a newly founded Consortium of New Southern African Medical Schools (CONSAMS). The UBLS was established in Lesotho in 1964 by a royal charter, two years before the three countries gained independence. It was founded to address manpower constraints in anticipation of their independence. The three countries had agreed
to concentrate on different professional trainings, as follows: Botswana in engineering, Swaziland in agriculture, and Lesotho in medicine. CONSAMS was
established as a unique collaborative approach involving south-south networks, which included south-north partnerships. This created an opportunity to
strengthen medical education in the region. The BoLeSwa partnership is further strengthened by participation in CONSAMS by two of the five founding members. Other members include Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. A sharing of resources through regional and international partnerships has been
established. The sub-Saharan African Medical School Study has examined the challenges, innovations, and emerging trends in medical education in the region
and has made recommendations on how to better share resources. CONSAMS is one innovative way of addressing these issues. Partnerships between the
BoLeSwa countries have been strengthened through CONSAMS. This has afforded the new medical schools sharing of their limited resources.


Authors' affiliations

L Badlangana, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Gaborone

K Matlhagela, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Gaborone

N Tlale, Medical School of Lesotho, Ministry of Health, Maseru

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Keywords

BoLeSwa; New medical school; Medical education; CONSAMS

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2016;8(2):130 -131. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.525

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-09-17
Date published: 2016-09-06

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