Training Multidisciplinary Leaders for Health Promotion in Developing Countries
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The global picture of maternal mortality and morbidity has changed very little over the past 20 years despite isolated (and often medically based) efforts to improve the situation. A multidisciplinary approach to this very complicated social and cultural problem has been recommended. This article describes the approach taken by the Save the Mothers program in Uganda (Master of Public Health Leadership) and its focus on training national, primarily nonmedical, advocates to bring about the political and cultural change needed to improve maternal health. Emphasis is placed on attracting the right students (through targeted advertising and interviews of candidates), delivering the appropriate package of information to these multidisciplinary students (through problem-based learning and experiential opportunities in the community), and fostering networks among students and graduates to keep the issue of maternal mortality high on their personal and political agendas. Students benefit from a flexible program that allows them to continue to work and study simultaneously while ensuring a high-quality program with faculty who are experts in their area of teaching. Students require practical assistance in their research endeavors and are encouraged to focus their topic on a field related to their place of employment.
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