April 15, 2011

UW Department of Global Health center awarded $300 million for health training

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Learn about I-TECH

As part of the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a massive effort to combat infectious diseases and strengthen health systems worldwide, the U.S. government has awarded a $300 million five-year cooperative agreement to the University of Washingtons International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH). The award became effective April 1 and focuses on health training in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

At a public hospital in Nampula, Mozambique, a trainee in I-TECH's HIV course for Tecnicos de Medicine sees a pediatric patient under the guidance of an experienced clinician.

I-TECH was founded in 2002 in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and now has more than 700 employees worldwide working through offices in 10 countries and projects in more than 20 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

An outreach worker arrives for a home visit in a rural community near Dessie, Ethiopia. I-TECH pioneered the use of case management and outreach workers for public sector AIDS care, a program that has since been adopted by the Ethiopia Ministry of Health.

I-TECH/Julia Sherburne

An outreach worker arrives for a home visit in a rural community near Dessie, Ethiopia. I-TECH pioneered the use of case management and outreach workers for public sector AIDS care, a program that has since been adopted by the Ethiopia Ministry of Health.

I-TECH works with local governments and institutions to develop skilled health care workers and strong national health systems in the resource-limited countries where it operates. The term “health systems” refers broadly to the interrelated governance, finance, staffing, infrastructure, information, education, products, technologies and services that come together to make high-quality healthcare possible.

“I am extremely pleased that UW has been selected for this far-reaching and competitive award,” said Holmes. “I-TECH has built a strong reputation as a leader in the practice of health systems strengthening within the U.S. governments global PEPFAR initiative, and we look forward to working with our 60 partners around the world to continue to expand that work. “

Holmes said I-TECH projects have played a key role in delivering life-saving care to millions of people in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean region. With this award, Holmes said I-TECH can continue to connect the scholarly, clinical and educational resources of the University of Washington and UCSF to the global effort to improve health systems and clinical care in under-resourced countries where the needs are most acute.

An I-TECH clinical mentor discusses a case with a doctor at the district hospital in Mekele, Ethiopia. I-TECH Ethiopia supports thirteen teams of clinical mentors who provide on-site support at public sector HIV care facilities across three large regions of the country.

I-TECH/Julia Sherburne

An I-TECH clinical mentor discusses a case with a doctor at the district hospital in Mekele, Ethiopia. I-TECH Ethiopia supports thirteen teams of clinical mentors who provide on-site support at public sector HIV care facilities across three large regions of the country.

Work performed by I-TECH under federal cooperative agreements since the programs inception in 2002 reflects the evolution of the federal PEPFAR foreign aid initiative launched in 2002.  The initiative has evolved from emergency AIDS relief to a longer-term investment in health systems strengthening.

While I-TECH initially focused on training health care workers about HIV and AIDS, it soon began to address broader capacity development efforts. These include designing clinical mentoring and decision support systems; strengthening pre-service training institutions; improving and implementing laboratory and medical information systems; and training and mentoring leaders and managers.

The cornerstone of this work is collaboration with local government and institutional partners in the countries where I-TECH works.

 

I-TECH quick facts:

  • First funded in 2002 via the first Health Resources and Services Administration International AIDS Education and Training Center “IAETC” grant (re-named “I-TECH” for ease of pronunciation).
  • Expanded to include other sources of funding to focus on human and institutional capacity development for health care in resource-limited settings.
  • Provided training to more than 20,000 health care workers worldwide last year alone.
  • USD$70 million budget (approximate) in 2010.
  • Network of programs includes 10 offices, in Botswana, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania.
  • Employs over 700 people worldwide, most of them in their own country (18% in U.S., approximately 90 in Seattle).

 

Photos of I-TECH programs, for media/press use: http://www.flickr.com/photos/itechimages
I-TECH press inquiries: Tom Furtwangler, Director of Communications tomfurt@uw.edu or cell 206.409.5010.