Innovative strategies to improve human resources for health in Africa: The SURMEPI story
The US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has responded to the need for the upscaling of Africa’s health workforce by investing in medical education on the African continent. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) aims to: enhance the quality of medical education and quantity of medical graduates; facilitate retention of medical faculty and graduates; and enhance locally relevant research. Stellenbosch University Rural Medical Education Partnership Initiative (SURMEPI) strives to develop, implement and evaluate innovative, workable and effective medical education models, in order to strengthen medical education and health systems within rural and resource-constrained environments. The purpose of this forum piece is to describe the SURMEPI project as background to the research articles emanating from SURMEPI in this AJHPE edition. SURMEPI’s overall focus is on innovations and interventions in high schools, undergraduate medical education, postgraduate and continuing medical education, e-learning and collaborations, of which some highlights and challenges are described here.