The Peace Corps & Global Health Service Explain Themselves

Yesterday, September 17, 2013, Peace Corps Response arranged an interview with three of the Global Health Service Program/Peace Corps Response Volunteers. This is the new partnership program between Global Health Services and Peace Corps Response.This is the first year of the program. These are a total of 30 doctors and nurses who are assigned to teaching hospitals in Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania.  Their primary mission is clinical education for host country doctors and nurses.  They will be in-country for one year.

This interview was supposed to be a video, but there were technical problems.The three Volunteers participated via c-phones. One Volunteer nurse educator is assigned to Tanzania and she is a former Peace Corps Volunteer. Her husband is also in Tanzania as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, not a GHS/PCR Volunteer.

The other Volunteers are a husband and wife team assigned in Ghana.  She is a nurse educator and he has just completed his residency in Internal Medicine. The interviewers are the Peace Corps Response Recruiter and the Global Health Services Program Coordinator.peace-corps-photo

Check out:

[Note: GHSP sends trained health professionals to serve as adjunct faculty in medical, nursing and clinical officer training schools of partnering countries. Launched in March 2012, the first cohort of medical and nursing professionals will leave for Tanzania, Malawi, and Uganda in July 2013.

Applications for the July 2014 class will be accepted from May 15, 2013 through November 1, 2013. Invitations will be extended beginning in January 2014 and may continue until late April. Candidates can also apply for Early Decision if they submit their application by October 1, 2013 and indicate interest in Early Decision in their application, offering them advance notice of the decision on their application.]

(Thanks for Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) for this ‘heads’ up’ on the video.)


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  • The Global Health Service/Peace Corps partnership is the first example of the “major reorganization” of Peace Corps that Director Hessler-Radelet promised. But is it Peace Corps? Two thoughts: The doctors and nurses who will be doing clinical education in Malawi, Ghana, and Tanzania are well supported via medical institutions stateside. It looks like a needed and well designed program. However, listen to the video and see if these Volunteers are ever identified as Peace Corps Volunteers.

    Second thought: The Peace Corps Response Recruiter begins by saying that Peace Corps Response is for the older, professional Volunteer. The younger, less trained, less professional Volunteer are placed in the “traditional” Peace Corps. UH? Now, Peace Corps is suddenly a two tier system?

    During the live interview, people were able to email questions. I did email one that was not asked. I asked if the infrastructure and resources were adequate to support safe clinical practices. I am so glad that the question was not asked because it was appropriate for the live interview. The doctors and nurses of the Global Health Service program will be involved with providing clinical services and so, of course, the assumption is that this can be done safely. To speculate or even ask the question had echoes of the old “postcard incident.”

    The reason I did ask the question is that a policy statement was made some years ago directing that no Peace Corps trainee, Volunteer, or staff member would be involved, in any way, with any medical procedure because of the danger of infection from unsafe conditions.

    The interview video lasts about fifty minutes. I would hope that others would listen and give their opinions.

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