In recent years, diminished governmental support, dwindling faculty numbers and the need to educate greater numbers of students in the face of declining public health funding have made it increasingly difficult for the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) to meet the healthcare training needs of Zimbabwe. In this application, we propose to address this dilemma directly by proposing a program whose overall objective is to transform the UZCHS academic environment by - compensating for diminished support with improved efficiency by leveraging information technology introduced as part of the programmatic award to which this application is linked. - reversing the decline in faculty numbers by improving the retention of current UZCHS faculty and the recruitment of UZCHS faculty from the ranks of recent graduates through creation of new educational opportunities, clinical partnerships, and research opportunities. - expanding the scope of medical education in Zimbabwe into cardiovascular conditions of critical national importance through its partnership with University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM) cardiology faculty. The proposal focuses on three conditions that are of critical public health importance in Zimbabwe and provide opportunities to enhance students'educational program broadly: heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, and hypertension/stroke. Using these three focus conditions as a foundation, we will enhance the medical school curriculum for all students and create a track for developing future faculty we call the Cardiovascular Clinical Scholars Program. Scholars will work on projects of public health relevance that also will be a substrate for clinical research, mentored by teams of UZCHS and UCSOM faculty. The proposal includes a formal evaluation component that will provide ongoing feedback on the progress and will guide redirection of the program if necessary.
Because of economic and political instability, and necessary attention on communicable disease, the capacity of the healthcare system in Zimbabwe to deal with cardiovascular disease has declined tremendously in the past decade. This proposal seeks to reverse this decline by training Zimbabwe's future generation of medical faculty in cardiovascular care.
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