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Education - a path to health

Facing the shortage

Well-trained health workers are a scarce resource worldwide. But a sound education is essential for good health care. That is why one focus of DIFÄM's work is the education and training of medical and pharmaceutical professionals - in Tübingen as well as in the project countries.

DIFÄM promotes the training and further education of doctors, nurses, village health workers and midwives. Their knowledge generates sustainable changes for the people in the communities.  Many partner churches have schools for health training, such as the nursing schools of the Protestant Church in Eastern Congo. DIFÄM also cooperates with them.

With many years of experience and expertise in the medical, nursing and pharmaceutical fields, employees of DIFÄM also conduct their own training courses. We are increasingly exploring new paths in training and now offer e-learning courses and podcasts on health-related topics.

One element of primary health care is the health education of people in communities. The aim is to teach them how to improve their own health and that of their community. Important topics at this level are hygiene, nutrition and health-promoting behaviour. In places where the government does not function, the churches become  providers of health care. In some countries, church-run health facilities provide health care for up to 70 percent of the population. Training professionals is an essential part of strengthening the health system.

Training for over 100 years

More than 100 years ago, DIFÄM began training nurses and doctors in the field of tropical medicine to qualify them for work in a mission hospital in Africa, India or even China. The seminar "Tropical Medicine and Public Health" is still an integral part of DIFÄM's educational work within the framework of the DIFÄM Academy for Global Health and trains women and men for health work in Southern countries.

However, the focus today is on training and qualifying health workers in our partner countries. Much of what used to be done by professionals from Europe or America can now be done by trained local people.

DIFÄM supports the educational work of its partner organisations with advice and also financially, from the community level to university education. Digitalisation now offers new possibilities for imparting knowledge. The education of women is particularly important for us. Women can significantly promote the health of their children, their families and the community.