Peace Corps’ Global Health Service Partnership Expands to Swaziland

November 5, 2015

Program will send U.S. nurses to Swaziland to grow local healthcare capacity

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 5, 2015 – Today the Peace Corps announced the expansion of the Global Health Service Partnership, a collaboration between the Peace Corps, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Seed Global Health. The program will for the first time place nurse educators in Swaziland where they will serve for one year alongside local faculty in partnering schools of nursing to help train the next generation of nurses and build healthcare capacity.

According to the United Nations, Swaziland has the highest prevalence of adults living with HIV/AIDS in the world, so the expansion of GHSP into Swaziland helps support PEPFAR’s goal of focusing human resources for health efforts in countries with the highest burden of HIV/AIDS.

“I am absolutely thrilled to see the growth and expansion of this important Peace Corps program,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “By establishing a Global Health Service Partnership presence in Swaziland, we are able to continue making a real difference in the healthcare systems abroad and we are ultimately making a positive, sustainable impact in the communities we serve.”

Nurses are the backbone of the health system in Swaziland, which has 16 nurses/midwives but less than two doctors to serve every 10,000 people according to the World Health Organization’s most recent health workforce statistics. For comparison, the United States has 24 doctors and 98 nurses/midwives for every 10,000 people.

“A qualified and capable nurse workforce is critical to Swaziland’s ability to deliver health care and tackle the country’s health challenges. We are excited to be able to respond to the country’s expressed needs and priorities by helping educate and train the next generation of nurses, enabling and empowering them to provide more skilled care and training for years to come,” said Dr. Vanessa Kerry, co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health.

Since the Global Health Service Partnership launched in 2012, 97 nurse and physician educators have served in the program in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. Over the course of the first two academic year cycles, the volunteers contributed over 85,000 service hours to reach more than 7,000 students, fellow faculty and other health professional trainees through teaching in over 300 courses and trainings.

The Global Health Service Partnership program is now accepting applications through December 11, 2015 for one-year assignments beginning in July 2016. Nurse applicants should possess a BSN and preferably an MPH, MSN, NP, CNM, CRNA, DNP, or PhD and have a minimum of three years’ experience in a clinical specialty and experience as a nursing educator. Volunteers receive a monthly living stipend, transportation to and from their country of service, comprehensive medical care, a readjustment allowance, and paid vacation days. In addition, Seed Global Health may assist Volunteers with need-based supplemental financial stipends.

To learn more about the Global Health Service Partnership or to start the application process, visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/globalhealth/.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About PEPFAR: The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease internationally. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information, visit www.pepfar.gov.

About Seed Global Health: Seed Global Health (Seed) strives to strengthen health education and delivery in places facing a dire shortage of health professionals by working with partner countries to meet their long-term health care human resource needs. Seed’s flagship program, the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), is a joint initiative with the Peace Corps and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Supported by its academic partner, The Massachusetts General Hospital, Seed works with partner countries to place US doctors and nurses alongside local faculty to educate and mentor the next generation of medical and nursing professionals in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. Visit www.seedglobalhealth.org for more information.

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