Umthombo Youth Development Foundation (UYDF) is a non-profit organisation with a simple mission: address the shortage of qualified healthcare staff in rural hospitals. Why? To improve healthcare delivery to these underserved communities.
On Youth day they have launched a new website.
UYDF offers a real, long-term solution to these shortages as they don’t just find healthcare professionals to fill these gaps, they train them from the very start. In order to do this they identify, train and support rural youth from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape to become qualified healthcare staff. UYDF is currently operating in 11 hospitals in the most rural parts of KwaZulu-Natal and 2 hospitals in rural Eastern Cape.
Rural hospitals face critical health worker shortages and have a hard time recruiting and retaining healthcare staff for several reasons, leading to inadequate healthcare delivery in these areas. The reason for these shortages range from professional isolation and distance from urban centers, to a lack of perceived career opportunities and difficult working conditions. Research, however, has shown that healthcare professionals are more likely to work in the areas that they. UYDF’s work stands testament to this.
This incredible project started in 1998 and since then they have trained 183 healthcare professionals who work in rural healthcare facilities, servicing the communities they come from.
Umthombo identifies youth that fit this profile, who have the potential to become health providers and who on graduation will commit to working year-for-year at a rural hospital in their district. A brilliant model that is working wonders, read more about their bursary programme.
In 2013 alone UYDF boasts a 94% pass rate with an awe-inspiring 48 students completing their studies across 14 medical disciplines, ranging from doctors and nurses to audiologists and dieticians.
The benefits of the programme are immeasurable. Not only do they provide incentive to local learners to work hard and achieve the necessary grades to enroll, they work to stimulate local youth/community development and in doing so create positive role models to other youths. Students are provided comprehensive financial support, guidance and mentorship – allowing them to concentrate exclusively on their studies. This allows these students to dream of a better future, when they complete their studies they have a job for life working to be part of the solution to South Africa’s public sector health crisis. By returning to work in their districts, these medical professionals help to create quality healthcare delivery in a sustainable manner. This makes big strides in breaking the cycle of poverty in these areas.
UYDF offers a tangible and sustainable, real, solution to a complex set of healthcare problems, while solving other related social ills. This programme deserves your attention and support.
Director of Umthombo Youth Development Foundation
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