African births to benefit from AusAID funding

AusAID, the Australian government’s international aid agency, has awarded $5470,000 to Dr Lillian Mwanri (Public Health) and Associate Professor Julie Robinson (Psychology) to bring a group of East African Fellows to Flinders for a multidisciplinary course to benefit child and maternal health.

The funding from the Australian Award Fellowships will enable 25 African in leadership positions from South Sudan, Tanzania and Ethiopia to attend the six-week intensive training course in February 2014.

Participants will be drawn from a wide range of sectors relevant to the health of women and children using the multi-sectoral Health in All Policies framework, and the training will contribute to plans to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The fund is part of the Federal Government’s commitment through AusAID Fellowships towards meeting the internationally agreed 2015 UN Millennium Goals, which include major reductions to infant and maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health.

Public health physician Dr Lillian Mwanri (pictured), Course Coordinator of the Master of Health and International Development, will co-ordinate the course, which will bring together relevant teaching experience and expertise from public health, psychology and other disciplines from across the University.

While the course will teach the participants practical skills that can be passed on through training in their native countries, a major aspect of the Fellowship is to create a network among the participants that can act as a continuing resource, Dr Mwanri said.

While child mortality is high across the region, Dr Mwanri said that there is a wide variation in maternal and child health support between and within the eastern African nations, and the Fellows have been selected to match the areas of need within their countries.  She said as a new nation emerging from a protracted civil war, South Sudan faces particularly problematic issues around child and maternal health.

“The aim of the course is to build capacity within the countries and also between the countries; the aim will be to develop a network of individuals who have been trained with us to manage issues of child and maternal health,” Dr Mwanri said.

“They will be helping themselves as well.”

In addition to providing class-based training, the course will seek work placements and mentorships for the Fellows in the local health, social services and related systems.

“This will allow them to identify things they can learn from us that they can implement in their countries,” Dr Mwanri said.

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6 thoughts on “African births to benefit from AusAID funding

  1. On behalf of the Africa Interest Group at Flinders University I would like to congratulate Dr. Mwanri and Dr. Julie Robinson and their team for designing this important course and achieving Ausaid recognition for their very important work. Flinders University once again strengthens the commitment between Australia and Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

  2. Congratulations to Dr. Mwanri and Dr. Julie Robinson for this very important successful,initiative.My gratitude to AusAID for funding this program. Child and maternal health are real issues in developing countries. More attention to them will assure the wellbeing of whole nations.

    Wishing you all the best in the program implementation phase,

    Dr. John Mugabushaka

  3. I would like to express my acknowledgement for this work done by Dr. Mwanri and Dr. Julie Robinson for this very important successful, initiative. My gratitude to AusAID which has provide assistance to many countries around the global. As a former Flinders Student of Bachelor of International Studies I could not be more proud and special as South Sudanese the new born country of South Sudan need assistance in many areas, such as education, clean water, and health, which are most important basic things in life.
    Deng Mawien

  4. Grat work Dr Mwari and Dr Julie. remember next time to include the Democratic Repablic of Congo because child and maternal health is really an untold story.

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