Forgarty International Centre of the United States Institutes of Health (FICUSIH) has extended a US$3 million grant to the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) aimed at strengthening research and training at the institution’s health sciences department.

The grant was awarded to the UZ through the Partnership in Education Training and Research Advancement (PETRA) programme.

“Awarded by the FICUSIH, the grant seeks to capacitate training in health professions education and research strengthening at the UZ College of Health Sciences under the Novel Education Clinical Trainees and Researchers and Promoting Excellence in Research and Enhanced Career Training programmes,” the UZ said in a statement.

The higher education institution said the goal of PETRA was to promote two thematic areas, namely, Inter-professional Education and Collaborative Practices (IPE/CP) and Dissemination and Implementation Science research (DIS).

“IPE/CP will be implemented through several capacity building programmes, ICT innovations and demonstration projects in various student forums and specialised patient care settings. DIS will include workshops and support of interdisciplinary projects for postgraduate students, especially in the area of HIV and Aids.”

UZ said with the PETRA programme, it was expected that within five years, all the institutions will have developed and integrated IPE/CP and DIS programmes into their curricula, thereby ultimately improving healthcare and patient outcomes throughout Zimbabwe.

“The UZCHS will lead the PETRA Consortium in the implementation of the programme (PETRA) activities at the Zimbabwean Consortium institutions. The American Universities will provide technical expertise in the thematic areas and evaluation capacity for all the programmes,” reads part of the statement.

PETRA is a consortium of four Zimbabwean universities including UZ, National University of Science and Technology, Midlands State University and Africa University in collaboration with University of Colorado Denver and Stanford University in the US.Newsday