Establishing an African Association for Health Professions Education and Research—Workshop in Brief


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Africa faces a severe shortage of human resources for health. Over the past 5 years, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, has sought to address this problem by supporting health professional education and research in Africa through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI). These programs have been widely recognized for their success at strengthening research capacity and advancing health professional education. MEPI in particular, led by its Principal Investigator Council, has been a catalyst for collaboration, innovation, and the exchange of best practices. At the conclusion of the five-year MEPI and NEPI programs, there is interest in finding a way to institutionalize the knowledge and networks that have developed. At the request of the NIH Fogarty International Center, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Global Health convened a workshop just outside Kampala on February 1–4, 2016, to discuss the potential form and benefits of a more permanent African association for health professions education and research that would look like that could build on the achievements of MEPI and NEPI and expand their reach across the continent and the spectrum of health professions.