The University of Maryland has been engaged in graduate training in Zambia since 2008. A diploma in HIV Medicine, later converted to an MSc program, was established as a collaborative effort between AIDSRelief Zambia/University of Maryland, University Teaching Hospital, University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Zambian Ministry of Health. Graduates are involved in HIV care and training, guiding HIV policy in government, military and the private sector in Zambia. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program which started in October 2010 at UNZA aims to train more health workers, improve the quality of training at UNZA, enhance the Master of Medicine (MMed) programs (postgraduate medical education programs) so that graduates can conduct research, and improve faculty retention at UNZA. Building on the successes and collaborations of the MSc in HIV Medicine program, a new 4 year MMed program in Infectious Diseases (MMed ID) was developed as part of MEPI. Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation (MGIC) Zambia, with three board certified Infectious Disease (ID) physicians, is leading this training in collaboration with the UNZA’s Department of Medicine. A MMed ID curriculum has been developed and it was approved by the UNZA Senate in early 2012. Additionally, an ID consultation service has been established. The MMed ID program is drawing considerable interest from local physicians. Eight candidates have been accepted and will start in September 2012. With the Zambian Government’s strong commitment to improving the health of her people, the MMed ID will have an important role in overall health systems strengthening in Zambia and the graduates will play roles in academic medicine and infectious research in Zambia.
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