The NIH Medical Education Partnership Initiative in Nigeria (MEPIN) provides an opportunity to address many of the challenges facing the Nigerian education institutions today with the overall goal of improving and Strengthening the medical education system in the country. With the existing human, material and infrastructural resources already provided through the PEPFAR program and the research skills provided by 2 of the partners' Fogarty AITRPs, the MEPIN will enhance the knowledge and skills of students and medical graduates to effectively meet and sustain the specific health care needs of Nigeria. The University of Ibadan is the lead medical school with partners including: University of Jos, University of Nigeria, University of Maiduguri, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Lagos, the AIDS Prevention Initiative Nigeria Ltd, Northwestern University and the Harvard School of Public Health. All institutions making up the MEPIN consortium have been long-term development partners in the Harvard PEPFAR program.
The specific aims of the proposal are: 1) Evidence based revision, updating and re-structuring of the current medical education program including: MBBS [MD equivalent]. Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Nursing, Pharmacy and Basic Medical Laboratory Sciences; 2) Develop a health issues training program for young adults using pre- medical, nursing and health professional students as a model; 3) Develop specific mentoring, skill-building, and continuing medical education programs for post-graduate students and faculty; 4) Enhance the multi- disciplinary research capacity for post graduate students and faculty by implementing directed career- oriented programs; 5) Create MEPIN Research Fellowship programs. These new models for training and career development opportunities for post graduates and faculty will create an enabling environment to promote locally driven research. Once implemented, they will demonstrate a sustainable increase in the recruitment and retention of trained health professionals and academic faculty, increase the number of medical students who begin local practice, become members of academic faculty, and/or conduct research related to the implementation of PEPFAR and other public health priorities in Nigeria.
The Nigerian medical education system faces many challenges including a decayed infrastructure, misplaced priorities, and inadequate resources. The majority of medical graduates are unable to adequately translate their knowledge of basic sciences to public health approaches to disease prevention. There is a dearth of research capacity for students and faculty, this MEPIN proposal seeks to address these deficiencies directly.
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