Research Topic

Effective Strategies To Develop Rural Health Workforce In Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)

About this Research Topic

Implementing strategies to train and support the rural health workforce in low and middle income countries (LMICs) is urgently needed. Rural areas are the most under-serviced around the world and rural communities in LMICs have by far the greatest needs. Governments, non-government organizations, and communities have attempted to address health workforce supply by using single solutions. In contrast, the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes that rural workforce interventions require multi-dimensional approaches.

At the core of these approaches are education, training and up-skilling support strategies, which when used in combination may be called "rural pathways". These involve holistic and coordinated systems of teaching, training and supporting the rural workforce in LMICs. By focusing on selecting, training and up-skilling rural health workforce in rural communities, coupled with supporting qualified health workers for better retention, rural pathways are likely to produce a more trained and sustained rural health workforce specific to the local community needs.

The evidence base for rural pathways in LMICs has been growing steadily, as has the quality of evaluative studies produced. It is important that the evidence specific to LMICs continues to be consolidated and strengthened to support evidence-based policy and decision-making in LMICs.

In this exciting new call, we are seeking articles about pathways for health care workers in LMICs. We prefer formal research studies, but well-documented case studies or project reports serving as useful exemplars will also be considered, particularly where they describe how or why strategies worked. Pathways strategies may include selecting, educating, training and/or professionally supporting rural health care workers in LMICs. 

Trained primary care teams are critical for achieving sustainable development goals. For this reason, the studies can include health care workers from a range of disciplines or existing workers who are (re-)trained or up-skilled for rural practice.

Articles need to include at least one author from LMICs where the studies are based.

Studies from countries which have had a "low and middle income or upper middle income" status according to World Bank criteria over the last 10 years will be applicable.​

Rural settings will need to be defined and described for interpretation by international readers.​


Keywords: rural training, rural education, rural professional support, rural retention, primary care, family medicine, rural generalist, community health


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Implementing strategies to train and support the rural health workforce in low and middle income countries (LMICs) is urgently needed. Rural areas are the most under-serviced around the world and rural communities in LMICs have by far the greatest needs. Governments, non-government organizations, and communities have attempted to address health workforce supply by using single solutions. In contrast, the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes that rural workforce interventions require multi-dimensional approaches.

At the core of these approaches are education, training and up-skilling support strategies, which when used in combination may be called "rural pathways". These involve holistic and coordinated systems of teaching, training and supporting the rural workforce in LMICs. By focusing on selecting, training and up-skilling rural health workforce in rural communities, coupled with supporting qualified health workers for better retention, rural pathways are likely to produce a more trained and sustained rural health workforce specific to the local community needs.

The evidence base for rural pathways in LMICs has been growing steadily, as has the quality of evaluative studies produced. It is important that the evidence specific to LMICs continues to be consolidated and strengthened to support evidence-based policy and decision-making in LMICs.

In this exciting new call, we are seeking articles about pathways for health care workers in LMICs. We prefer formal research studies, but well-documented case studies or project reports serving as useful exemplars will also be considered, particularly where they describe how or why strategies worked. Pathways strategies may include selecting, educating, training and/or professionally supporting rural health care workers in LMICs. 

Trained primary care teams are critical for achieving sustainable development goals. For this reason, the studies can include health care workers from a range of disciplines or existing workers who are (re-)trained or up-skilled for rural practice.

Articles need to include at least one author from LMICs where the studies are based.

Studies from countries which have had a "low and middle income or upper middle income" status according to World Bank criteria over the last 10 years will be applicable.​

Rural settings will need to be defined and described for interpretation by international readers.​


Keywords: rural training, rural education, rural professional support, rural retention, primary care, family medicine, rural generalist, community health


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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