The Zimbabwe Masters in Public Health program is a two-year competency-based training that consists of classroom teaching (30 percent) and on the job field training (70 percent). With support from the Rockefeller Foundation Public-Health-Schools-Without-Walls Initiative, the MPH program was launched in 1993 with the aim of assisting the Ministry of Health and Child Care create a permanent capacity to recruit, train, and employ public health practitioners to sustain the public health infrastructure. The program is a joint collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Community Medicine and Ministry of Health and Child Care. Zimbabwe was the first to develop such a program, and drawing upon its experience, subsequent programs were launched in Uganda, Ghana, and Vietnam. The MPH program has subsequently trained over 90 percent of the current public health leadership.
Since 1993, the program has recruited 26 cohorts and of these, 24 have completed the training. Since 2003, the program has experienced an increase in participant intake, with the highest recorded being 16 trainees in 2003. The average intake from 2003 to 2011 has been 12 trainees. Of the 288 trainees enrolled since 1993 to date, 258 have completed training and 248 (96 percent) passed their final examinations and have graduated.
The MPH program is operated from two sites: the Department of Community Medicine at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Zimbabwe and the Health Studies Office at the Ministry of Health and Childcare headquarters in Harare.
Some notable achievements of the Zimbabwe FETP include the following: