Wonca Africa News 30th May

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WHO launches Integrated People-Centred Health Services (IPCHS)


Greetings from WHA69!  I hope you are well.  We are expecting the framework on integrated people-centered health services to be discussed today and are pleased to share the attached the Integrated People Centered Health Services communication toolkit, with suggested social media content and graphics for approval of the framework at the World Health Assembly and the launch of the IntegratedCare4People.org web platform.  

Please feel free to use as you see fit and share with others!  Of course one could draw liberally on the “reorienting models of care toward systems that revalue prevention and promotion and are based on primary care” strategic direction.

Thanks for considering.

Kind Regards,



See details here

Pupils don’t understand what they read: study

pupilsOver 50% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa do not understand what they read‚ while almost 30% are illiterate. That’s according to research conducted by Stellenbosch University’s department of economics on behalf of the Zenex Foundation. The findings of the two-year study‚ titled “Laying Firm Foundations: Getting Reading Right”‚ have now been published. The focus of the research was to investigate the causes of weak South African student performance in literacy and numeracy in the Foundation Phases of Grades 1 to 3….more

Ballet in Soweto

2eda77d95fdd435b909c237a343ca6f1The South African International Ballet Competition launched the Training Teachers in the Townships programme at one of the classrooms in Thesele Secondary School in White City Jabavu, Soweto. This programme was initiated by former Joburg Ballet chief executive Dirk Badenhorst to train and empower teachers in townships on how to coach dancers in classical ballet using the Cuban method. The idea is that the teachers will go on to start their own ballet school in a township…..more

Government hostility towards private healthcare impedes NHI

THE government’s antipathy towards public-private partnerships is holding up implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI), according to the head of the Independent Practitioners Association Foundation (IPAF), which represents doctors. IPAF chairman Morgan Chetty, speaking at a media summit on Wednesday organised by medical scheme administrator Discovery Health, said: “The government sees the private sector as a threat. “It fears divestiture and that the public health sector will give up its right to provide healthcare.” NHI envisages a universal health system to which everyone contributes according to their ability and which provides services that are free at the point of care. The latest government policy on NHI, published in a white paper in December 2015, says services will be procured from accredited public and private sector providers….more

NHI ‘won’t work’ but much to be said for aspects of it – HSF

barlowThe Universal Health Coverage (UHC) system envisaged by South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper won’t work. Amongst other things: it’s too ambitious; too hostile to the private sector; too reliant on complex bureaucratic structures inherently ripe for inefficiency and abuse; and it totally ignores the many pitfalls that face single payer financing mechanisms. But, writes Andrew Barlow, a researcher at the Helen Suzman Foundation,there’s also much to be said for some of the ideas within it. Barlow writes: “One potentially promising idea is the re-engineering of the Primary Health Care (PHC) platform. PHC begins, it says, ‘in the communities and is the first level of contact with the health system by individuals, the family and community’. It is the ‘heart-beat of NHI. The PHC services include health promotion, disease prevention, curative (acute and chronic clinical) services, rehabilitation and palliative services.’ …more

Doctors’ community service meeting most objectives

serviceCommunity service in the medical field is meeting its objectives‚ with about half of South Africa’s 1,200 doctors who graduate annually working in rural and underserved areas for their compulsory year of community service. Business Day reports, however, that according to University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Professor Steve Reid is should be more. He noted that the number of doctors working in far-flung areas is double the number who did their community service year in 2001. He said 15 years of surveys showed that doctors were increasingly experiencing the community service year as “positive”….more

Medical Aid Films announces new partnership to transform health worker training in Nigeria

b0d4f976-039f-46d4-850e-8374ea63805fMedical Aid Films, in partnership with InStrat Global Health Solutions, Digital Campus and mPowering Frontline Health Workers, are working with Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board, to launch a new tablet-based maternal and child health training curriculum for nurses, midwives, and community health workers in Ondo State, Nigeria.

The 12-week pilot programme supports in-service training for 200 health workers in 18 health centres in Ondo State, by providing high quality film-based training in both English and Yoruba.   Covering topics such as antenatal care,managing obstructed labour and how to resuscitate a newborn, the goal is to scale this programme to all 550 health facilities across Ondo State, training 5,400 health workers who deliver services to 1.4 million women. …more


WHO Sierra Leone is managing the recruitment of a new leader for Sierra Leone’s medical school. I’ve copied and pasted some background on the institution and our support below. The job vacancy is available now on e-recruit here: https://erecruit.who.int/public/hrd-cl-vac-view.asp?o_c=1000&jobinfo_uid_c=33550&vaclng=enMight you be able to pass this on to relevant and interested colleagues? We are looking forward to recruiting an excellent candidate. 

Robert Marten

Technical Officer

Health Systems Strengthening
World Health Organization, Sierra Leone

E-mail: martenr@who.int

Mobile: + 232 (0) 79 813 258
WhatsApp: +1-347-439-3578

GPN: 33070 / Twitter: @martenrobert

21 A&B Riverside Drive, off Kingharman Road
Brookfields, Freetown | P.O. Box 529


The College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) is the first and only medical school in Sierra Leone. It was founded in 1988 by the Sierra Leonean Government with support from the Nigerian Government and the World Health Organization (WHO). Following the 2005 University Act, COMAHS was incorporated as one of three constituent colleges, alongside Fourah Bay College (FBC) and the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), into the University of Sierra Leone (USL). USL is owned by the Government, and its Chancellor is the President of Sierra Leone. COMAHS is mandated to train doctors, nurses, pharmacists, biomedical scientists and laboratory technicians to improve Sierra Leone’s health system.

COMAHS recently developed a five-year strategic plan to transform into a top university in West Africa. Currently, however, there are challenges: courses are limited because of staff shortages; equipment and supplies are outdated or not available; and space is limited resulting in many able students—who have the necessary exam scores—denied admissions and or going abroad to study.

Planned support

To begin to address these gaps, WHO has been requested by the MOHS, with close to $3.3 million in funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, to support COMAHS to achieve its strategic objectives by assisting with the recruitment of teachers and key senior staff, specifically a Deputy Vice Chancellor and 18 instructors in basic sciences (4 positions), basic medical sciences (5 positions), pharmaceutical sciences (2 positions), clinical sciences (4 positions) and nursing (3 positions). WHO will also supporting COMAHS to procure teaching materials and upgrade and rehabilitate ICT and other equipment.  The time period for this support is 2016-2017.




Following the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak in Sierra Leone, that left hundreds of Health Care Workers (HCW) dead, most of whom are middle cadre level, the country is desirous of re-building its health system, through accelerating the training of both Middle Level Health Care Workers as well as Doctors.  In support of the Government of Sierra Leone’s (GoSL) rebuilding efforts, the World Bank has made available funds to the GOSL through the World Health Organization (WHO). The government wishes to apply part of these funds to support the position of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone who doubles as Principal of the College of Medicine and Allied Health  Sciences-COMAHS (a Constituent College of the University of Sierra Leone).


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Sierra Leone/Principal, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences

No. of posts

One (1)

Reporting to

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Sierra Leone



Duration of contract

The recruitment will initially be for a period of  Two (2) years but shall be extendable  one year at a time thereafter subject to the following conditions:

1. Satisfactory performance

2. Continued requirement of the position

3. Availability of funds




1. Degree in Medicine such as MD, MBBS, MB;ChB

2.Professional  postgraduate qualification in either Public Health, Medicine,Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, from a recognized body

3. A professor from a recognized university


A certificate/diploma  in Medical Education administration



1. At least Twenty (20) years of clinical experience combined with academic work post specialization.

2. Served as Dean of a college/university campus principal for at least three (3) years or at least a minimum of five years’ experience in a senior management position

3. Demonstrate ability in the management of academic planning and programs, and management of the same at university level and capacity to motivate staff and students

4. Experience in running university affairs, procedures and systems

5. Evidence of internationally recognized record of scholarship with extensive scholarly/referred publications and capacity to lead and promote research activities in a university

6. Experience in resource mobilization, networking, and fundraising


Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

·         Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor (VC), the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) will be responsible for the effective management of the academic affairs of the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and work closely with the VC in ensuring realization of the vision, mission, and strategic objectives of the University.

·         DVC will specifically provide academic leadership of the Medical School’s faculties, research engagements, educational resources, curriculum development and implementation, teaching and quality assurance of all academic programs.

·         Responsible for the day to day running of the Medical  School

·         Provide high level leadership and supportive supervision of the lecturers and other staff

·         Assign teaching roles to academic staff and researchers

·         Proactively provide leadership and advice  on resource mobilization and teaching and research

·         Liaise with external stakeholders to develop and maintain strategic academic partnerships.

·         Hold regular academic staff meetings and keep the VC informed of the outcomes of such meetings

·         Provide technical and professional advice to academic staff to promote their academic development

·         Ensure the acquisition of teaching and learning materials for the medical  school times

·         Foster relationships between the medical school and other academic institutions

·         This job description is not intended to be exhaustive, but it indicates some of the tasks to be undertaken by the DVC


Desirable Skills

·         Comfortable working in a collaborative manner with many other team members

·         Team builder and player

·         Capacity builder

·         Excellent communication skills

·         Willingness to travel to districts to provide support

·         Ability to adapt to challenging operating environments e.g. post-epidemic settings

·         Respecting and promoting individual cultural differences



David de Ferranti,  President

Results for Development Institute (R4D)

1111 19th Street, N.W., Suite 700 | Washington, DC  20036

Email: ddeferranti@r4d.org.  For confidential or private messages: ConfidentialtoDavid@r4d.org

Mobile:  +1-202-468-1301          Office: call Joan Santini at +1-202-470-5721

Skype: david.deferranti | Fax: +1-202-470-5712 | Confidential Fax: +1-678-716-2554

R4D Website: www.r4d.org

GP Health Department and Wits sign MOU

Wits University and the Gauteng Department of Health have committed to greater co-operation to address health care challenges in the province. Qedani Mahlangu, MEC for Health and Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, 10 May 2016. At the signing, Habib praised the manner in which the national government and the Gauteng and Limpopo provincial governments worked with Wits to deal with the recent tragedy in which the seven students from the University loss their lives, and believes this collaboration could mean great things for Gauteng residents. The VC noted that the injured students involved in the tragedy were transported to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital within 24 hours and had access to specialist services because government “came together in an incredible way.” – See more at: http://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/general-news/2016/2016-05/gp-health-department-and-wits-sign-mou.html#sthash.iZXBO57t.dpuf

Is Rwanda Africa’s answer to Switzerland?

MORE than two decades on from a genocide that claimed 800,000 lives, Rwanda is taking another step towards looking like the closest thing Africa has to Switzerland. The tiny, landlocked, mountainous nation’s economy has outperformed almost all its continental peers, with annual growth averaging 7.8% since 2000. Like Switzerland, which hosts the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos every year, it is also about to welcome delegates to the organisation’s annual African gathering. “Nurturing an attractive business environment has become more important for many African nations to sustain growth, as commodity revenue and aid inflows have fallen,” Mark Bohlund, Africa economist with Bloomberg Intelligence in London, said. “Rwanda has led the way by cutting red tape, providing tax incentives and improving governance, which has helped overcome the disadvantages of its small size, lack of port access and limited natural resources.”

However, the Swiss parallel of Rwanda’s economic success story, furthered with a ranking by the World Bank as mainland Africa’s easiest place to do business, does not extend to its reputation for upholding democracy. Civil-rights groups accuse the government of stifling opposition and have criticised a constitutional change that will allow President Paul Kagame, who has been in power since 2000 and taken credit for Rwanda’s economic success, to stand for a third term…..more

SA to adopt WHO’s ‘test and treat’ HIV guidelines

SA WILL adopt the World Health Organisation’s new “test and treat” guidelines for HIV patients in September, enabling people to start treatment as soon as they are diagnosed instead of having to wait until their immune systems weaken, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Tuesday. Current guidelines say patients should wait until their CD4 count, which measures the strength of the immune system, falls below 500 cells per mm³ and that pregnant HIV-positive women should start lifelong treatment . The government also plans to start providing sex workers with preventative treatment, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, in June, said the minister. While at first sight the WHO’s guidelines might suggest that the country is destined to double the number of patients taking antiretrovirals, government officials and independent experts have previously told Business Day that a massive surge in demand is unlikely. Previous policy changes have not triggered large spikes in the numbers of those receiving treatment, and the numbers on treatment are expected to continue to rise steadily…..more

Kenya’s Health Workforce Looks to Technology for Training in Family Planning


‘Capitalizing on the spread of mobile phones and the growing capability of mobile technology, K4Health is implementing a program in Kitui, Kenya, to support refresher family planning training for students and health workers…

‘K4Health has a large repository of global family planning and reproductive health technical content, including eLearning courses, toolkits, journal articles, and more. For the past year and a half we’ve been looking into ways to adapt our global content to platforms that can reach health program managers and health providers that have limited access to our online content. One popular solution we found is Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which allows content to be sent as an audio recording via a phone call to a user’s mobile phone.

‘The training we designed is based on the Spaced Education learning methodology, which requires participants to answer 20 questions on family planning methods and counseling correctly twice in a row…

‘Janet Muli, a Diploma in Nursing student in her second year, told us, “I liked the mobile learning because, one thing, it is not expensive. You only send a request that you are ready to answer. They call you, they give you an explanation of a certain question. They are using simple language to explain to you. Even you can call at anytime when you’re free. You’re not limited in time. That’s the good thing about the Family Planning Counseling [training].”…

‘Perhaps one of the most interesting findings was that mobile phones are the most popular way of accessing information online. Both students and staff at the nearby hospital talked about using their phones to search the Internet, which they found preferable to using a computer. Phones are cheaper and easier to carry and charge than a laptop.

‘One key finding was that participants wanted to learn how to better search for information online. “I want to know where to go to find accurate, up-to-date information on family planning,” said one participant. “Such as what is supported by the WHO or not. I just Google and don’t know if what turns up is correct.” […]’

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

Distributing clean needles to curb the spread of HIV

The Step Up Project runs needle exchange programmes with injecting drug users in Cape Town, Durban and Tshwane. Injecting drug users often use the same dirty needles for months on end or resort to sharing needles with others in order to get their fix. This contributes to the rapid transmission of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. It is estimated that there are currently over 60 000 injecting drug users in the country. The HIV prevalence among this group in South Africa is about 19 percent – almost twice the national average……more


Policy guidelines: 72-hour Assessment of Involuntary Mental Healthcare Users

These 18-page guidelines list facility requirements for holding mental health patients for 72-hour involuntary assessments as well relevant procedure and guidelines for clinicians. Released in 2012, the guidelines note involuntary admission and treatment of people living with mental illness, such as that involved in 72-hour in-patient assessments, remain controversial as they impinge on personal liberty and the right to choose. They also carry the risk of abuse. Thus, guidelines stress that any person or establishment providing care, treatment and rehabilitation services to a person living with mental illness without consent must follow procedures set out in the Mental Health Care Act….more

‘We can do better,’ doctor tells health market inquiry

In South Africa’s two-tiered healthcare system, no one wins, testify doctors as the Competition Commission Inquiry into Private Healthcare resumes, writes Section27. The Competition Commission’s Market Inquiry into the Private Health Care Sector resumed public hearings in Pretoria yesterday after extending the period of public hearings. The South African Nursing Council, the Office of Health Standards Compliance, Medscheme and theFree State Department of Health are some of the stakeholders that are expected to make oral submissions to the inquiry during the next three weeks. …more

Staff shortages, poor leadership cripple healthcare

There is a human resource crisis in healthcare that is driven partly by government tolerance of incompetent staff, according to Health Systems Trust’s South African Health Review 2016. You are least likely to see a dentist or a doctor in the North West’s public sector health facilities, which has the lowest rates of both in the country. While there is a dire shortage of dentists in the public sector with around 1,100 practicing throughout South Africa, the situation is worst in North West where there is only one dentist for every 50 000 people….more

Report: Saving Mothers 2011 – 2013

The sixth edition of the report on maternal deaths includes 4,452 maternal deaths logged into the national database for the period between 2011 and 2014. The report notes a decrease in maternal deaths due mainly to a decrease in deaths due to non-pregnancy related infections such as HIV and tuberculosis.

While these kinds of infections still rank among the top five causes of maternal deaths, the percentage of deaths attributed to infections like HIV has fallen by about 25 percent in the last eight years. Authors attribute this decrease to increasing numbers of women accepting the offer of HIV testing and earlier HIV treatment….more