Frank J Anderson, M.D., MPH, associate professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Health Behavior/Health Education was recently awarded a Flora Family Foundation one-year learning grant to support his project “Improving Maternal Health and Reducing Maternal Mortality in Africa through Training Obstetricians.”
The grant will use the lessons gleaned from current UMMS obstetric partnerships to engage other academic OBGYN programs in the U.S. who are interested in making similar long-term commitments to identifying academic obstetric and gynecology programs in sub-Saharan Africa located in countries committed to creating, supporting and sustaining this capacity.
Anderson, who also serves as the Director of Global Initiatives in the OBGYN department, notes, “Partnering with universities and programs in less developed countries to decrease maternal mortality is a major goal of this program. This grant will help highlight the importance of university partnerships to train physicians to become obstetricians – as a new development model. “
He adds, “The University of Michigan is a known leader among all obstetrics and gynecology programs in the US because of its work in Ghana, and has a unique opportunity to document the successes and failures and create a formula to assist other US or North American-based OBGYN departments in creating capacity building partnerships in Africa.”
Anderson and his colleagues hope that the work done over the next year would lead to a consortium of university-based OBGYN partnerships whose goal would be to train 1000 new obstetricians in Africa in the next 10 years, preventing and treating thousands of incidents of obstetric fistula and saving countless lives.