The Impact of a Model Partnership in a Medical Postgraduate Program in North–South and South—South Collaboration on Trainee Retention, Program Sustainability and Regional Collaboration

  •  Beede Amare    
  •  Janet Lutale    
  •  Miliard Derbew    
  •  Dilip Mathai    
  •  Nina Langeland    


North-South educational partnerships can potentially alleviate the scarcity of health work force in the South. A model program with the objectives of sustainability, high trainee retention, quality education, and capacity building is the goal of many similar programs. To achieve these goals a program of postgraduate clinical specialty training was implemented, between the University of Bergen, Norway and three Universities in Africa and one medical school in India between 2008 to 2014. This partnership program aimed at educating physicians from the South to specialize in various medical field. The goal was that the trained physicians would be educators in their respective countries. The program participants were 58 medical doctors.

At the end of the program we conducted an evaluation survey involving program participants and coordinators. Twenty-eight physicians (48%) responded to the survey. The average program evaluation score by the physicians was 4.5 (out of a maximum of 5) with a range of 3.2 to 5. Out of the 12 program coordinators 9 (75%) responded to the survey. Their average score was 4.5 with a range of 4 to 4.9. By the time the survey was conducted, 49 of the 58 (84.5%) program participants had completed the program successfully and 47 of the 49 (95.9 %) were working in their own countries.

In conclusion, the partnership program was effective in capacity building in the development of the human health workforce in Africa. We have observed a high retention rate, good quality education, a sustainable program and the model can easily be reproducible.

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