Sub-Saharan Africa carries 24% of the world’s burden of disease, but only 3% of the world’s healthcare workforce. By some estimates, 100 medical schools will open across Sub-Saharan Africa within the next decade. But will they succeed?
The healthcare worker crisis has gained international attention as the Ebola virus exacted an unprecedented toll in recent months. The World Health Organization estimates that in the three hardest-hit countries from the Ebola virus, only one to two doctors were available to treat 100,000 people. Capacitating medical education and training is quickly gaining momentum as a sustainable part of the solution to stemming the healthcare emergency in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A DOCTOR OF MY OWN explores the emerging stories of students at the newly opened University of Namibia School of Medicine in Windhoek. Fresh out of organic chemistry, the students will trek to rural villages, training with patients who have never before met a doctor from their own country. The challenges are enormous–and so is the pressure. Some students will leave in the brain drain, never to return. Yet buried in the sea of endless patients and faced with unexpected responsibilities, a few may rise to find their calling. And if they do, medical education will revolutionize healthcare in Africa.
Production of the documentary film A DOCTOR OF MY OWN began in the Spring of 2012. A crew of two Harvard graduates immersed themselves among the students of the University of Namibia School of Medicine and traveled with them from their classrooms across the country to rural clinics. Through interviews of students, allied health workers, and leaders in the field, the film captures first-hand accounts of the day-to-day battles of healthcare delivery and medical education in the country. Post-production took place under the guidance of renowned Global Health researchers at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health. A DOCTOR OF MY OWN was shot entirely on a Nikon D800 SLR.
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