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SHOPS Plus Helps Expand Curriculum at Madagascar Medical School

Since 2018, the Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector Plus (SHOPS Plus) project has trained doctors, midwives, and nurses from over 900 private health facilities in Madagascar on quality assurance/continuing quality improvement (QA/CQI) and business and financial management. The SHOPS Plus-trained facilities represent about 30 percent of all private health facilities identified in the Madagascar private sector census. As SHOPS Plus prepares to close out its activities, ensuring the sustainability of these trainings is critical to reach more providers and promote high quality services in the private sector.

Through an MOU signed in August 2020, SHOPS Plus has worked closely with the Faculté de Médecine (“FacMed”), the medical school at the University of Antananarivo and the largest medical school in Madagascar, to incorporate its trainings into the curriculum for eighth year medical students. This collaboration is critical to prepare the next generation of doctors to effectively provide high quality services. In addition, many of private health providers who participated in SHOPS Plus trainings said that it would have been very helpful to receive business training as part of their medical education.

SHOPS Plus tailored its QA/CQI and business and financial management trainings for this audience, developing a basic and advanced module for each topic. The project also developed curricula to educate medical students about health entrepreneurship and personal development. The project then trained 13 FacMed instructors in QA/CQI (with some of these instructors trained on personal development as well) and 5 instructors in business management (with some of these instructors trained on health entrepreneurship as well) to deliver these courses effectively. All FacMed instructors provided insight on adapting the SHOPS Plus training modules to better target medical students and conducted practice training sessions to familiarize themselves with the content.

“I was skeptical about the success of the virtual training of trainers sessions that SHOPS Plus provided to us because I had no background in finance. But I can now teach the financial and business management modules to my students, so I am happy with the results.”

Dr. Rina Rakotozafindraibe, FacMed Instructor

In early July 2021, FacMed instructors had the opportunity to teach the content to two groups of about 40 eighth-year medical students. SHOPS Plus co-led the first basic session for each topic to provide support to the FacMed team. Following those sessions, FacMed instructors independently led remaining sessions and will lead additional basic sessions on their own in August. FacMed instructors are fully able to continue the training independently and they will continue to offer these courses to students after the project ends. Moreover, SHOPS Plus provided equipment for two training rooms that will be dedicated to the delivery of basic and advanced trainings. Equipment included screens, video projectors, and sound system packages.

FacMed now has curricula for basic and advanced modules for four topics, a team of 18 instructors, and a better supportive environment to effectively teach these courses. Through the continuation of these trainings, the next generation of doctors will be better equipped to effectively manage their own private health practices and provide high quality healthcare services to the Malagasy population.