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Public Health Training Initiative

  • The Center's Public Health Training Initiative aims to increase quality health care in rural areas to meet the health needs of mothers and children in Sudan and Nigeria. (Photo: The Carter Center)

Our Goal

The Carter Center’s Public Health Training Initiative (PHTI) aims to build resilient health systems by strengthening the country’s ability to train a capable health workforce. PHTI works with the Sudanese Federal Ministry of Health to strengthen the capacity of public health training institutions to produce more well-trained health workers with an appropriate mix of skills to meet the maternal and child health needs of rural and urban communities.

What is the Public Health Training Initiative?

The World Health Organization has identified Sudan as a country suffering an acute health care workforce crisis. The crisis has negatively impacted the country’s 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 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.

PHTI is a joint effort between The Carter Center and the federal ministry of health in Sudan to increase the number of health professionals who will focus on improving maternal and child health.

PHTI focuses on:

  1. Improving the learning environment of adult students enrolled in state health science training institutions
  2. Training health science educators and health professionals
  3. Producing learning materials tailored to each country’s context and health needs

What is the precedent for PHTI in Sudan?

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 Sudan Public Health Training Initiative was launched in 2014, and the Nigeria Public Health Training Initiative was launched in 2017 and transitioned to full local ownership at the end of 2020.

What is the Carter Center’s role?

The Carter Center provides technical assistance to advisory councils directed by the federal ministry of health responsible for guiding and overseeing the project. The Carter Center partners with health science education, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation science experts to provide in-country technical assistance. Over the course of the program, The Carter Center expects the federal government 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.

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Sudan hopes the initiative will enhance the skills of 10,000 midwives and community health workers, as well as 9,000 medical assistants, sanitary overseers, anesthesia technicians, and surgical attendants.

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