Malawi is in dire need of trained nurses with only three nurses per 10,000 people (by comparison the US has nearly 100 and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 10 to deliver essential care). With support from USAID, The Gruber Family Foundation and others, GAIA has funded the educations of 476 nursing students to date. GAIA provides tuition, a living stipend, clinical supplies, books, and stationary for the students, many of whom are also orphans struggling to support younger siblings. But making sure that the most qualified nurses do not emigrate to western countries is crucial, and so we ask our GAIA Scholars to commit to working in Malawi’s state-run hospitals for five years.
Additionally, GAIA is working closely with Malawi’s Ministry of Health on an initiative to train 600 health care professionals in updated antiretroviral therapy (ART) protocols recommended by the World Health Organization, Basic Emergency Obstetric Care, Triage, and improved Clinical Instruction with support from USAID.
In 2016, GAIA has inaugurated 25 new scholars and continues to support 93 continuing scholars in school and 358 graduate scholars, 214 of which are working in 27 of Malawi’s 28 Malawi districts. The remainder of our graduates are awaiting licensing exams and deployment sites from the Ministry of Health.
By supporting Clinical Instructors at Malawi’s largest nursing college, offering continuing education for faculty members, and graduating future nursing faculty, GAIA is improving quality of nursing education.
By deploying nurses to rural districts and sponsoring students who are committed to working in the public sector for 5 years, GAIA is improving access to quality healthcare nationwide.