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January 1, 2010

Global Child Health Leadership Training: Ghana, Ethiopia, and Tanzania

The SickKids Global Child Health Program is the collective strategy for global outreach and international development activities undertaken by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and seeks to make an active contribution towards achieving Millennium Development Goal # 4. As a part of the global solution to improve children’s health and strengthen health systems, the primary focus of the program is to develop innovative, sustainable and collaborative projects that meet the child health needs of our partnering organizations.

Currently, Africa’s health-care leaders face dynamic economic, policy and political challenges to improving health systems and outcomes for children. With support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the SickKids Global Child Health Program is working to advance the global agenda in reducing child mortality and morbidity by:

  1. Designing, developing and delivering paediatric workforce training programs
  2. Strengthening the capacity of child health systems
  3. Promoting leadership in child health

By collaborating with community and institutional leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, SickKids will promote leadership in child health by developing training programs in Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania that may include the following cadres and roles within the health-care sector: community health workers, nursing and allied health professionals, physicians, and health-care managers or administrators.

Components of the training programs may include education initiatives within the following areas: health systems planning, skill development or capacity building in primary health-care settings, interdisciplinary education around priority initiatives in child health (e.g. nutrition management), or the development of health leadership skills (e.g. advocacy, priority setting, managing change, effective communication, etc). Gender equality and environmental awareness will also be cross-cutting themes throughout the leadership training and program delivery.

The investment of CIDA and our partners to enhance leadership capacity at the community and institutional levels will help to ensure sustainable and robust child health systems in Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Furthermore, with new knowledge and skills in the arena of child health, a network of health-care professionals will have the capacity to advocate for child health issues in the countries identified, while helping to advance the broader global child health agenda.