CFHI recognizes local health workers and community leaders as important contributors to the global health education movement and experts that are key to understanding global health at the community level. CFHI works collaboratively with international communities to foster reciprocal partnerships and community empowerment. CFHI supports its international partners by helping to build the local healthcare workforce through professional development opportunities, a mechanism for social entrepreneurship, and support of healthcare worker appreciation and recognition.
Importantly, more than half of CFHI program fees go to host communities. CFHI’s fee-based structure supports local healthcare workers in a socially responsible and financially just way, contributing to prevention of brain drain through honorarium for doctors and healthcare workers who dedicate time and resources to teaching and advising CFHI participants. Even CFHI participants’ presence and willingness to learn helps to build appreciation, confidence, and morale amongst local healthcare workers.
On many occasions, CFHI has supported professional development opportunities for our international partners. Examples of support for professional development include investing in degrees, conference participation, and speaking engagements. CFHI Medical Director in Puyo, Ecuador, Dr. Wilfrido Torres, began his Masters studies in Clinical Research and Epidemiology, fully funded by CFHI. In the fall of 2010, CFHI India Director, Hema Pandey, traveled to the United Nations’ headquarters to join a discussion about Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. CFHI supported Quito, Ecuador Medical Director, Dra. Susana Alvear to attend the American Academy of Family Physicians Global Health Workshop and take part in a key-note with our then Global Medical Director, Dr. Jessica Evert. In November 2013, Hema spoke at the 5th International Symposium on Service-Learning in Capetown, South Africa.
Through the Patti Clinic, a CFHI Community Health Project, female village health promoters in remote Himalayan villages receive training in primary health services and education in prevention and treatment of common and minor illnesses. And since 2010, CFHI provides an annual midwifery training in Puerto Escondido, Mexico for traditional parteras, or midwives, to strengthen skills to ensure safe birth techniques, recognition of obstetric emergencies, and responding to newborn distress.