Higherlife Foundation (HLF) has, with immediate effect, launched a $100 million medical training completion fellowship for at least 2 000 junior and senior doctors employed at public teaching hospitals within the country.
The scholarship covers those who are formerly undergoing a junior or senior resident programme, with special preference being given to beneficiaries of the Capernaum and Joshua Nkomo scholarships.
HigherLife Foundation is an initiative of the Masiyiwa Family Foundation and support for the initiative will come from the family and its donor partners.
In a statement yesterday, HLF said the $100 million fellowship will last for six months, with funding contingent upon fellows remaining enrolled in their programmes for that period and satisfying the stipulated requirements.
“The $100 million fellowship comprises a non-negotiable monthly subsistence allowance of $5 000 (five thousand Zimbabwean dollars) per doctor for a maximum of 2 000 doctors,” said HLF chief executive Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa.
“This amount will be disbursed monthly and is subject to unilateral review by HLF. The monthly subsistence will be disbursed to qualifying junior and senior resident officers on proof of being on duty at the specified institution for the duration of the month.”
HLF will also provide a smartphone as a tool of trade, VAYA carpool voucher to access the hospital, at a maximum of three trips per day.
About $10 million of the fund will be set aside for tools of trade including stethoscopes, patella hammers, uniforms and other diagnostic aids.
Higherlife Foundation will also undertake to provide WI-FI at the major teaching hospitals in Zimbabwe.
“This fellowship opportunity has been shared with Joshua Nkomo, Capernaum, junior and senior resident officer representatives and the Ministry of Health leadership,” said Dr Mubaiwa.
Members of the Zimbabwe corporate and donor community interested in supporting the initiative, said Dr Mubaiwa, were welcome to approach HLF with a view to help.
Dr Mubaiwa, however, stressed that the initiative was not from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe or Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe as neither of these publicly listed companies’ management or boards were even consulted on the matter.
“Also, for the avoidance of doubt, this initiative was not developed in consultation with the target beneficiaries or their employer. It is an independent initiative of HLF, as are all our initiatives and programmes,” he said.
This initiative is building on a 23-year commitment to education, HLF started in 1996.
The foundation has supported the education of over 250 000 students across Zimbabwe, Burundi, and Lesotho through its flagship education initiatives — the Capernaum and Joshua Nkomo scholarship programmes.
The Capernaum Scholarship has been running for the last 23 years and provides tuition to orphaned and vulnerable children from early childhood to tertiary education.
The Joshua Nkomo Scholarship (JNS) was established in 2006 and awards scholarships to highly talented Zimbabwean students through a rigorous selection process, creating opportunities for them to study at local and overseas learning in stitutions.
Dr Mubaiwa said through these scholarships, HLF had seen many young women and men graduating as medical doctors who have provided healthcare services “to our nation”.
He said for our healthcaree system to continue having this continuous inflow of doctors, it was important for junior and senior resident officers to complete their training within the designated time period.