The Directorate of Medical Training and Professional Development is responsible for the pre-service and in-service training of medical cadres in South Sudan. It is currently responsible for the operations of the Health Training Institutes where mid-level cadres such as nurses, midwives, medical officers and laboratory technicians are trained. There are currently twelve Health Training Institutes operating in South Sudan, with plans to open six more in the coming year, to ensure that there are training opportunities available locally for all students.
Health workers are one of the core building blocks of the national health system. The MoH has identified human resources for health (HRH) as the most important resource in the delivery of healthcare services. South Sudan faces a human resources for health crisis. Staffing levels and training are inadequate. Support, remuneration and career development opportunities for staff are insufficient. Skill mixes at all levels are inappropriate. Workloads are inequitable, with some staff members working very hard whilst others have low productivity and are de-motivated. The workforce is concentrated in urban areas and hospitals, at the expense of rural areas and primary healthcare facilities.
Major functions of the directorate include:
- Formulation of training policies and guidelines, and communication of these with the MoH, SMoHs, training institutions, development partners, members of HRH-TWG and other stakeholders.
- Selection of eligible applicants for entrance into health training programmes.
- Provision of support to national examination committee.
- Provision of financial and technical support to health training institutions.
- Monitoring of performance of health training institutions.
- Coordination and management of professional development for eligible staff.
- Promotion of effective collaboration and communication with relevant sectors, development partners and stakeholders.
- Development of guidelines and screening of applicants for scholarship programmes
- Collaboration with other directorates and institutions to devise and implement their training plans
Recent activities include:
- Funding forty-four medical doctors on postgraduate studies abroad.
- Selected and sent twenty students for diploma in Botswana, sixteen for Registered Nursing, two Laboratory Technicians and two Pharmacy Technicians for three years
- Selected and sent eight Clinical Officers to Zambia for task-shifting training in Integrated Emergency Surgery and Obstetrics for two years
- Sent ten Clinical Officers to Malawi for task-shifting training in Integrated Emergency Surgery and Obstetrics for eighteen months
- Sent seven Medical Officers to University of Nairobi for Masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for three years
- Sent three Medical Officers to Muhimbilli University, Tanzania for Masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for three years
- Four Medical Officers accepted to Mekelle University in Ethiopia for Masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for three years
- Selected ten Registered Nurses for task-shifting training in Malawi in Anaesthesia for eighteen months
- Assessed progress on infrastructure development of two new Health Training Institutes (HTIs) in Malakal and Lui
- Reviewed and updated entry requirements for midlevel health training programmes
- Conducted recruitment for health training programmes, including advertisements, screening and selection of eligible applicants for entry exams
- Renovation of five dormitories in Rumbek Health Training School is ongoing
- Recruited three Nursing Tutors for Rumbek Health Training School
- Finalised and shared Directorate Annual Report 2012-13
- Assessed Aweil Midwifery School
- Finalised Scholarship Guidelines
- Held Human Resource Development Technical Working Group meetings
Planned actions include:
- Formulate a comprehensive a national health training policy and plan.
- Establish a MoH scholarship committee and solicit funds to support the scheme.
- Promote effective collaboration and communication with relevant sectors, development partners and stakeholders.
- Manage the selection process and entry examinations for candidates applying for health training programmes.
- Provide material, financial and technical support to ten training institutions.
- Review and update the supportive supervision checklist for health training institutions and facilities, and involve tutors and HR officers to conduct peer-review of these facilities/institutions.
- Establish a public national annual award system for the best performing female and male students and for the best performing training programme.
- Establish more transparent staff appraisal systems and ensure timeliness of annual staff appraisal.
- Advocate for, and ensure budget allocations for recruitment to key positions within the MoH, tutors, and other national health professionals.
- Establish new Health Training Institutes
- Open National Mutli-Disciplinary Health Training College
- Increase government funding for Health Training Institutes
Dr. Gabriel G Daniel