This project aims to build on the experience gained in previous grants and to develop research capacity and training capacity in medical informatics in Africa through a Pan African collaborative initiative in which participating institutions in Mozambique, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe will co-operate and work together. The partners will ultimately contribute to joint teaching and research in Medical lnformatics across Africa. This will be facilitated by distributed learning. The project will: 1. Continue to offer the postgraduate programmes in medical informatics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal 2. Offer the existing UKZ-N postgraduate medical informatics education programmes to other Universities in Africa through a collaborative process using ICT based distance education. 3. Assist other Universities in Africa to establish their own medical informatics training programmes by: a. Sharing curricula b. Assisting in developing additional modules relevant to local requirements c. Sharing staff for teaching and mentoring d. Distributed learning using various solutions e. Developing staff capacity 4. Offer medical informatics modules to existing MPH programmes at other Universities in Africa through distributed learning 5. Develop a medical informatics internship programme for graduates in a Ministry of Health and provide ongoing mentorship of the graduates in the work environment 6. Develop a consortium of African Universities offering medical informatics programmes of similar standard with shared teaching 7. Provide tuition fee funding for eighteen months to 100 trainees over five years.
The need for training in medical informatics is acknowledged by many, including the Amercian Medicial lnformatics Association. The shortage of informaticians in Africa requires innovative approaches to teaching and sharing of scarce human resources. This project builds on the lessons learnt in establishing medical informatics training in Africa and aims to develop a model for MI capacity development in Africa.
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