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Easy to starts

Long Term Solutions

The approach used by the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation is more than a simple bursary 'hand out'. Rather, it is one of the few long term solutions to the challenge of recruiting and retaining quality health care professionals for South Africa's rural areas. Research has shown that health professionals are more likely to choose to work in a rural hospital if that is they orginate, or if they are exposed to the realities of rural health care delivery whilst doing their university training.

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working-together

Working Together

We have numerous significant partnerships including funders, the Department of Health, the community but the most important in terms of implementing the programme is the local hospital. Together with the rural hospital, we identify, train and support rural youth to become qualified health professionals, who in turn commit to work at the local hospital for their contract period.

The hospitals are instrumental in identifying, training and supporting members of the local youth on their quest to become health professionals. To ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible certain important processes have to be in place.

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Great docs & support

Success So Far

The UYDF has produced 185 graduates and currently supports 205 students studying a wide range of health science disciplines - Medicine, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition, Biomedical Technology, Social Work, Optometry, Dental Therapy, Dentistry, Environmental Health, Speech Therapy, Social Work, Nursing, Radiology and Psychology.

We believe the success of the programme is due to the comprehensive student mentoring system that provides students with academic and social mentoring throughout the course of their studies. The impact of the mentoring system can be seen in the pass rates of our students. A 93 % university pass rate was achieved in 2015 and 94% in 2016.

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2018 Student numbers
Through our mentoring support programme, our students are achieving exceptional successes: our university pass rate in 2018 was 92%, way exceeding the national average! In 2019, we are now supporting 252 rural youth to study 15 different health science degrees.

Our approach is sustainable and competitive from an investment point of view: while the cost of training 254 graduates (2015 graduate numbers) was R186 million, these graduates will pay R1,2 billion in personal income tax over their lifetime.

To date 384 health science graduates have been produced (133 are Doctors) and are currently working in a public rural health care facility in Kwa-Zulu-Natal. The Umthombo graduates become role models in their communities and encourage the rural youth to work hard, focus and stay HIV negative in order to achieve their dreams.

Graduates

students

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