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Grameen Nursing Colleges

This is a bit of dialog about Grameen Nusing Colleges ... a collaboartion that has huge social value

This little bit of dialog alerts to the important health initiative between Glasgow and the Grameen group to address human resources training, an important issue in health
Peter Burgess

microcreditsummit's greatest hits: case study 3 of 50 -grameen nursing college

zasheem - can I leave this one to you to choose - how do we write it up so that the right sort of partners come together and ward off the wrong sort

I have had a go at a first draft of this case - but unless you feel it hits the right tone, I had best leave it to you-

peter burgess (who joined naila and I at a day tour of MIT) might have some ideas if you want someone who is insanely passionate about this practice area as a sounding board; you also know my friends chris granville, eric meade ... estleele, her friend charlotte who is also professionally interested in health; judy and shafi and jeff too in london

estelle - do you already know the workshop panelist from mail cited below?


Grameen Nursing College – and the goal of ending nurseless villages

When I first met Muhammad Yunus, he inspired me with 3 action-oriented directions:

nothing is impossible ;

devil's in the contextual details ,

so often the greatest microentrepreneurial revolution involves a macro and micro partnering jigsaw that cannot come together until youth and you search out one missing macro piece.

Here’s an illustration formed round the intricate partnerships of Grameen Nursing College- and its exciting decade-long destination of end nurseless villages –

Dr Yunus had traveled to Glasgow in 2008 because his lifelong friend Zasheem Ahmed, had promised him some university partnerships. On arrival, Yunus bantered I hope the Scots are going to come up with an action project not just a lot of theoretical economics even though it is extremely kind to be asked to give a lecture celebrating the quarter of a century since Adam Smith wrote the theioy or moral sentiments.

Zasheem had been expecting that question. Sir, Glasgow Caledonian trains an awful lot of the nurses for the national health Service. Why not ask their principal to loan you their chief trainer and start up the most practical womens free university of them all : Grameen Nursing College . You have thousands of secondary girl scholars in the village who would love to be trained up as nurse and go back to the village (tele)centres as the womens most valued medical linksperson.

Yunus jumped on the partnering opportunity arranging a quick visit to two of the foundations whose global mission is branded “girl effect” – Nike Foundation and the Buffett family’s Nova. So the Grameen College partnership got assembled and started up in under 12 months. The relationships in the villages, the partnerships with universities, the funding from world leading foundations make as near a perfect collaboration partnership jigsaw as can be.

Yet the partnering possibilities are destined to grow and grow from communities up. Yunus number 1 social business technology partnership Grameen Intel has a priority focus on what distant village monitoring can nurses, mobiles and world experts link in together relating to life critical moments in maternal and infant healthcare.. And the daytime job of Yunus CEO of Grameen America is the nation’s leading healthcare conferences.

And yet none of this would have been possible without the deep roots in the village. As well as Grameen’s secondary scholarship program, Brac’s original two rural networks involved informal primary schools and para-retailers of medical knowledge who emerged out of the need to distribute the oral rehydration solution that costs cents to make but needs the mother to know what to do to stop diarrhea from killing her infant. So yes Bangladeshi rural children grow up more interested in healthcare education practices than many; even so the end nurseless village partnership looks like one that many world class microcredit networks have the grassroots trust multipliers and global partnering action credentials to multiply.

Microcreditsummit Conference Follow-Up

Why Integrating Microfinance, Health Education, and Other Forms of Health Protection is Good for Your Clients and Good for Your MFI, and How Can You Incorporate It?

Abstract ... Workshop Paper

Author: Sheila Leatherman, Research Professor, the Gillings School of Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA


Sir Fazle Abed, Founder and Chairperson, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh
Carmen Velasco, Co-Founder and Director, Pro Mujer
Mamadou Diallo, Regional Manager, West Africa, Freedom from Hunger, Mali
Fatina Abu-Okab, Deputy General Manager, Microfund for Women, Jorda

This is my response to Zasheem:

Dear Zasheem

I am not sure I can help, but will certainly try. Chris is right that I am insane and also quite passionate about health and other issues in poor communities. The Grameen Nursing College is the type of initiative that I see as win-win-win in every worthwhile way, though it will not resonate very much with those that worship the capitalist market economy!

As I see it the Grameen Nursing College initiative has (1) win 1 because it improves human capital by training people (2) win 2 because these people can work to improve the health in a society ... huge value (3) win 3 is a huge reduction in the cost of doing good health in a village, facilitates early intervention, etc.

Last year about this time there were a series off meetings at the UN in New York about human resources for health ... and the dialog was almost wholly about the problem of too few health workers, and nothing as far as I can recall about how to do something practical about the problem. WHO grumbled about how little money they had ... but that was about it!

Some time ago I heard stories about health workers in Mozambique. The Minister of Health had become somewhat unpopular because he had decided to train nurses who did mid-wife work in rural settings to handle surgery that saves lives during childbirth. The 'senior' medical professionals did not think this was a good idea, but I understand it was a huge success. The nurses had the potential, all that was needed was to give them the opportunity to get the training, and they stepped up.

As I said, not sure how I can help, but will do so if I can

Peter Burgess

Chris Macrae
Date: Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM
The text being discussed is available at

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