Partners for Pediatric Progress established its first partnership in 2008 in in the capital city of Maputo, Mozambique. Since then we have been working closely with our friends and colleagues at the country’s main medical school, the Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and its adjacent 1500 bed teaching hospital, the Hospital Central de Maputo.
Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries and is thus a country of greatest need. It ranks 180 out of the 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2015 Human Development Index. Nearly 61% of the population lives below the income poverty line of US $1.25 per day. However, income poverty alone only tells part of the story as many individuals living near or above the poverty line suffer deprivations in health, education, and living standards, bringing the true percentage of people living in the conditions of poverty to over 70%. Of these deprivations, lack of resources in the health system plays a significant factor contributing to overall poverty and has an overwhelmingly important impact on children who are the very foundation and future of the country.
With approximately 11 million citizens under the age of 15 (45% of the entire population) and extremely high neonatal and childhood morbidity and mortality rates, the needs in Mozambique are immense. When Partners for Pediatric Progress started its activities in the country, there were only 10 pediatricians and no pediatric surgeons. Through close collaboration with our colleagues at the Eduardo Mondlane School of Medicine and the Pediatric Department at the Hospital Central de Maputo, we implemented our capacity-building program to train the local healthcare workforce. As of 2015, there are now 67 Mozambican pediatricians. Of particular note, our faculty contributed to the training of the only two pediatric surgeons in the country.
Partners for Pediatric Progress continues to send pediatricians, neonatologists, neonatal nurses, critical care experts, infectious diseases experts, transfusion medicine experts, and both general pediatric surgeons and subspecialty surgeons to Maputo, to train and work closely with our colleagues there. In addition, we sponsor physicians, nurses, and medical residents form Mozambique to participate in clinical rotations at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital. In this way, we build local capacity by training healthcare workers who can in turn train the next generation of healthcare workers. This approach has the ultimate impact of strengthening the health system and improving the health and lives of children in the country.
In the current year, Partners for Pediatric Progress’ projects include:
- Training and support of care in the newborn nursery
- Training and support of care in Urgencia, or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
- Support of the graduate medical education program for Mozambican Pediatric residents.
- Hospital Infection Control Project to decrease the risk of hospital-acquired infections
- Ongoing training and support of pediatric surgical and pediatric surgical subspecialty programs.
- Partnering with the hospital leadership, Ministry of Health and Centers for Disease Control to establish protocols for blood transfusions, to decrease transfusion-associated infections.
We’re proud to have an In-Country Program Director, Dr. Chris Buck, overseeing all of the activities of Partners for Pediatric Progress in Mozambique.
We’re also proud of the partnership and support that we have received for our work in Mozambique from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Centers for Disease Control, the United States Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Mozambique Ministry of Natural Resources and Andarko.