Expanding Clinical Medical Training Opportunities at the University of Nairobi: Adapting a Regional Medical Education Model From the WWAMI Program at the University of Washington.
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A major medical education need in Sub-Saharan Africa includes expanding clinical training opportunities to develop health professionals. Medical education expansion is a complicated process that requires significant investment of financial and human resources, but it can also provide opportunities for innovative approaches and partnerships. In 2010, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launched the Medical Education Partnership Initiative to invest in medical education and health system strengthening in Africa. Building on a 30-year collaborative clinical and research training partnership, the University of Nairobi in Kenya developed a pilot regional medical education program modeled on the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) medical education program at the University of Washington in the United States. The University of Nairobi adapted key elements of the WWAMI model to expand clinical training opportunities without requiring major capital construction of new buildings or campuses. The pilot program provides short-term clinical training opportunities for undergraduate students and recruits and trains clinical faculty at 14 decentralized training sites. The adaptation of a model from the Northwestern United States to address medical education needs in Kenya is a successful transfer of knowledge and practices that can be scaled up and replicated across Sub-Saharan Africa.