As part of its Oral Health Care Initiative, which has the vision to improve oral health care for all Tanzanians, MCW announced today the formation of an historic four-party Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU was signed between the Government of Tanzania through its Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), New York University (NYU) College of Nursing and MCW, to provide an innovative solution to address the inadequate access to oral health care in Tanzania through NYU's Global Nurse Scholars Program. The program aims to create a curriculum to train nurses in the field in basic oral healthcare.
With a population of 47.8 million, Tanzania has less than 0.3 dentists per 100,000 citizens. With over 35,000 nurses and midwives in Tanzania, there is an opportunity for nurses to play a pivotal role in expanding access to oral health care in the country. This inter-disciplinary healthcare training program aims to create a curriculum for nurses to meet the basic oral healthcare needs of underserved communities.
"Our partners at the MUHAS dental school have long since advocated for us to help in bringing formal training to nurses in oral health," said MCW Director of Health Care Projects, Dr. Marion Bergman. "We are thrilled that the Government of Tanzania through its Ministry of Health, recognized NYU's Global Nurse Scholar program as the perfect vehicle to bring a scalable educational training module for field nurses to Tanzania."
A Tanzanian nurse has been selected as a Global Nurse Scholar and will define and create a user-friendly, evidence-based curriculum. With guidance from the Tanzania MoHSW and mentorship from MUHAS Schools of Dentistry and Nursing, and NYU's College of Nursing, the scholar will develop a program to be accredited and recognized in Tanzania which will educate nurses through continuing education.
"MCW has recognized an opportunity to address neglected oral health needs in Tanzania through the NYU College of Nursing's Global Scholars Program. In this unique and important partnership between MCW, NYUCN and the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Global Scholars Program will work to build oral health capacity among nurses in Tanzania. As an engaged governmental agency, the MoHSW understands the needs of its citizens and its workforce and offers invaluable guidance to the context, structure and audience for our programs in Tanzania," said Dr. Ann Kurth, Executive Director, NYU College of Nursing and Global Associate Dean for Research, NYU Global Institute of Public Health.
The Scholar will arrive at NYU for the research and training stage of the program in May 2015.