Letters

Georgia to Georgia initiative

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7510.237 (Published 21 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:237
  1. H Kenneth Walker, professor of medicine (kwalk04{at}emory.edu),
  2. Bijan Falollahi, professor,
  3. Zviad Kirtava, director,
  4. Judith Wold, associate professor
  1. Emory University School of Medicine, 69 Jesse Hill Jr Drive SE, No 202, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
  2. Georgia State University, Institute of International Business, 35 Broad Street, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
  3. National Information Learning Centre, Tbilisi, Georgia
  4. Georgia State University, College of Health and Human Services - School of Nursing, MSC 2A0965, 33 Gilmer Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30302-4019, USA

    EDITOR—A consortium of academic communities in the US city of Atlanta, Georgia (Emory University, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Grady Hospital, and Morehouse School of Medicine) has been working with a similar group and the health ministry for the former Soviet country of Georgia since 1992. This partnership has produced several accomplishments:

    • Forty medical school graduates of Georgia have received postgraduate specialty training or their MPH degrees in Atlanta

    • A Western-type BBA and MBA school was established in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital, and a faculty of 63 Georgians trained in Atlanta teaches a student body of 800

    • A learning centre teaches healthcare workers how to find up to date medical information on the internet

    • Nursing school and healthcare management schools staffed by Georgians trained in Atlanta are being established

    • A women's wellness centre in Kutaisi teaches breast health, perinatal care, preventive health care, and reproductive counselling

    • The research infrastructure of the country is being built up with collaborative activities in AIDS and tuberculosis funded by the National Institutes of Health

    • Young Georgian scientists receiving training in Atlanta are being taught how to be competitive for grants

    • A training centre for emergency medical services was established and trains hundreds of policemen, firemen, and others in resuscitation at the scene of an incident. Numerous student exchanges have occurred between Atlanta and Tbilisi

    • One medical student in Atlanta showed that 64% of newborn infants in Tbilisi had hypothyroidism because of a lack of iodinated salt in the country, resulting in corrective efforts by the government of Georgia and international organisations.

    The partnership illustrates that academic communities provide a uniquely rich resource for establishing sustainable, long term development and reform in countries exemplified by Georgia; information technology has been a key resource for this effort; and Georgia's geographical position produces a fertile environment for broadening the scope of knowledge crucial for establishing sustainable development programmes in regions characterised by diversity and instability.

    These activities have received funding from the US Agency for International Development and other organisations.

    Footnotes

    • Competing interests None declared.

    View Abstract