What does Umthombo Youth Development Foundation do

The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation seeks to address the shortages of healthcare staff at rural hospitals. This is achieved through the investment in rural youth who are willing on graduation to work at their local rural hospital.

Research found that the lack of qualified healthcare professionals in rural areas could be attributed to the following issues:

  • An overall shortage of trained healthcare workers in the public sector.
  • Rural hospitals find it difficult to recruit and retain healthcare professionals for reasons including the fact that they are not seen as attractive workplaces by city dwellers and city-trained graduates.
  • Health science graduates were more likely to live and work in a rural area if that’s where they grew up, or if they were exposed to rural health during their training.

Based on these findings and the belief that despite the poor social and economic circumstances of the youth in the area, that if given the opportunity and necessary support, rural youth could succeed in becoming health care professionals and would return to serve their communities when qualified.

The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation (formerly Friends of Mosvold Scholarship Scheme) thus sought to identify members of the local youth community who had the potential to, and an interest in, becoming healthcare providers and who would commit to working at one of the 5 hospitals in the district for at least the same number of years they received university support for.

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  • 385
    Graduates
  • 18
    Disciplines
  • 133
    Doctors
  • Discovery Foundation Award of Excellence
    2007
  • 2nd Runner Up Public Innovator of the Year
    2008
  • 1st Runner Up Innovative Service Delivery
    2008
  • Special Ministerial Award
    2013
  • Health Innovator
    2014
  • Mail & Guardian Investing in Health Award
    2016