September 2021 I GAIA Malawi Awarded 5-Year USAID Cooperative Agreement!
October 13, 2021
We are thrilled to announce a new five-year cooperative agreement between GAIA Malawi and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen Malawi’s healthcare workforce through the creation of 260 comprehensive nursing scholarships, 240 paid fellowships for new graduates, capacity building of nurse regulatory bodies, and clinical mentorship support for training institutions and teaching hospitals. Together with GAIA’s ongoing Nursing Scholar Program, and a growing partnership with UCSF/GAIN, the USAID award will more than triple the number of nurses and midwives being trained with GAIA’s support over the next five years. The award is additionally noteworthy, as it represents the first prime USAID award direct to GAIA Malawi, with the GAIA U.S. office serving only in a technical assistance role.
Sixty-two percent of nursing positions remain vacant in Malawi’s public health sector. GAIA’s Nursing Scholar Program, in partnership with the Malawi Ministry of Health and local universities, addresses this health worker shortage by increasing the number of nurses and midwives being trained and filling vacant healthcare positions around the country. To date, GAIA’s Nursing Scholar Program has graduated over 500 nurses serving in rural areas of Malawi and Liberia.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed extreme stress on leaders, healthcare workers, communities, and families, and has underscored the importance of a robust, qualified healthcare workforce. Although there is much work to be done, we find hope in the rising generation of healthcare professionals enabled by this new USAID partnership, bringing us one step closer to healthcare accessibility for all.