How does HVO select a new site for its projects? Over the years we have found that requests for new projects come from three main sources. First, referrals by volunteers who are aware of an institution in need of educational support. Second, we are approached by colleagues overseas who have worked with HVO at another facility, often in another country. For example, a physician in Ethiopia might mention the presence of HVO to a colleague from a neighboring country who then comes to HVO to express an interest. The third source is referrals from our sponsors.
It is generally recognized now that one of the most serious systemic problems in the delivery of health services in developing countries is the lack of appropriately trained health care providers. The World Health Organization focused on this problem in its 2006 World Health Report, Working Together for Health and, along with the Global Health Workforce Alliance, in the 2013 Global Forum on Human Resources for Health Report, A Universal Truth: No Health Without a Workforce.
There are limited resources in developing countries to support the training and education of health care professionals. Educational materials that we take for granted (textbooks, journals, access to the internet, models, charts, slides, etc.) are usually not available or are woefully out-of-date. There are few, if any, opportunities for continuing education for clinicians in the field and no real opportunities for faculty development. Health care providers often work in isolation, unable to network or communicate with other professionals in nearby countries faced with similar problems and constraints.
The opportunities for HVO project development, therefore, are extremely broad in scope. HVO projects may focus on:
The key is to assess what the educational needs and priorities are and to determine what type of project would best meet these needs.
If you are affiliated with a health-related institution or facility in an emerging economy and are interested in learning more about having an HVO project at your site, contact us for more information or fill out a preliminary request for support.