There is an immense shortage of committed health care professionals in rural communities. Moreover, research has shown that health professionals are more likely to live and work at a rural hospital if they grew up in a rural area or if they were exposed to the realities of rural health care delivery throughout the course of their university training.
My organization and I have a difficult task. Our work aims to address and work towards the recruitment and retention quality health care professionals in South Africa’s rural areas. The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation identifies, trains and supports youth in their quest to become qualified health care professionals and as a way of addressing staff shortages at rural hospitals.
This includes comprehensive mentoring and financial support throughout the course of their studies, as well as assistance with integration into the hospital working environment once qualified. See the Model used to achieve this.
I am the research lead consisting of data collection tools development, cleaning and analysis of data and scientific report writing. I maintain this database and conduct monitoring and evaluation of the programmes. I holds several degrees including a PhD in health promotion, and an MSc in Demography and Population studies.
My research is focused on Public Health epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.