The World Health Organization estimates that there is currently a worldwide shortage of more than four million health workers. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa which experience some of the highest rates of disease, conflict and are prone to humanitarian disasters have as few as 3% of the world’s health care workers.
Since its inception, International Medical Corps has been committed to building the capacity of devastated communities so that they can recover, rebuild and become self-reliant. Our dedication to giving disaster-stricken communities the strength and skills to meet their own primary health care needs helps define us. It is in our motto, “From Relief to Self Reliance.” It is in our mission statement: “…to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in areas worldwide.”
International Medical Corps is committed to increasing the availability and quality of health services in the world’s most fragile environments. We do this primarily through training and education programmes that strengthen local communities and institutions to create, mobilise, support and take control of their own health care services.
We also work closely with host government agencies and partner with local non-government organisations to strengthen the health care infrastructure at all levels, from community health centres to specialist hospitals serving whole nations. Our focus on strengthening capacity not only fosters self-reliance, but it also builds the kind of confidence, pride, and self-esteem essential for political stability and successful development.
To date, we have certified 87 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and 34 physicians with Basic Life Support training. A group of our trainees were the first to complete a preliminary oncology radiation training course at the Basra Children’s Hospital and elsewhere in Iraq we have provided training courses for healthcare professionals in Ear-Nose-Throat care, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Implemented at the community-level and run by community members, the Burundi programme has proven to be a comfortable and relaxing setting for mothers to learn new feeding practices from their peers. The programme has achieved high recovery and low defaulting rates compared to interventions which bring malnourished children to remote facilities.