Addressing healthcare-management capacity building: The story of the African Institute for Healthcare Management

S M Sammut


The focus historically on human-resource needs in healthcare has been on the development and training of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. While there is still a gap that remains in these necessary roles, another acute gap has emerged, that of a scarcity of professionally trained managers for health systems, health facilities and the other organisations that comprise the healthcare system. Arguably, many of the issues in health equity, such as the migration of physicians and nurses across borders, the operational inefficiencies of facilities and dysfunctional supply chains derive from sub-optimal management. Throughout the emerging markets, particularly in Africa, there have been some attempts to address the management gap, but there have been few, if any, degree programmes established for healthcare management. A full-scale healthcare-management MBA programme has been established at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya. While the creation and development of the programme proceeded effectively and on schedule, the principals discovered that filling the ranks of qualified and experienced faculty in healthcare management was challenging. The faculty roster relied heavily on the recruitment of professors from healthcare-management departments in the USA and the UK. The attempts to design courses with locally relevant materials also revealed a serious lack of solid research and teaching materials. This article describes an approach to addressing the scarcity of Africa-oriented healthcare-management faculty, as well as the need for managerial teaching and learning materials focused on the African health context.

Author's affiliations

S M Sammut, Health Care Management Department, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA; and Institute of Healthcare Management, Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya

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Southern African Journal of Public Health (incorporating Strengthening Health Systems) 2017;2(2):30-33. DOI:10.7196/SHS.2017.v2i2.56

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-11-23
Date published: 2017-11-23

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