The World Health Organization has identified Nigeria and Sudan as countries suffering an acute health care workforce crisis. The crisis has negatively impacted these countries’ ability to provide essential, life-saving interventions such as safe pregnancy and delivery services for mothers and child immunizations. Maternal and child health indices in Nigeria and Sudan have remained very poor due in part to the lack of properly trained, competent health professionals who can address maternal and child health needs.
The Public Health Training Initiative (PHTI) is a joint effort between The Carter Center and the federal ministries of health in Sudan and Nigeria to increase the number of health professionals who will focus on improving maternal and child health.
PHTI focuses on:
The Carter Center seeks to replicate in other countries the success of its Ethiopian Public Health Training Initiative (EPHTI), which partnered with universities and ministries of health and education to train frontline health professionals and educators to address major public health problems. In 2007, The Carter Center organized a replication conference in Addis Ababa with Nigeria, Sudan, and seven other countries to discuss EPHTI lessons learned and best practices. This led the federal governments of Sudan and Nigeria to request assistance to adapt and implement the EPHTI model in select target communities.
The Carter Center provides technical assistance to advisory councils directed by federal and state ministries of health responsible for guiding and overseeing the project. The Carter Center partners with Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing as well as other health science education, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation science experts to provide in-country technical assistance.
The Carter Center serves as the financial steward of donor funds for PHTI as the federal governments of Nigeria and Sudan gradually increase their financial stake in the program. Over the course of the program, The Carter Center expects the federal governments to take full ownership and institutionalize PHTI throughout their selected target communities. These efforts will result in better-educated health professionals addressing maternal and child needs.