LSTM embarks on a 3 million Euro research project to strengthen the health workforce in Africa

Press release 27 Oct 2011
The PERFORM team

The dire shortage of health staff is a key obstacle to improving health and saving lives in Africa.

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) launches PERFORM, a 3 mn Euro research project to support improved performance of health workers in Africa.

As previous research has focussed on the need to train more health staff, there has been serious neglect of the need to improve performance of the existing health workforce.

Improving the performance for existing health workers in Africa is critical to saving lives.

PERFORM aims to bridge this gap, Dr. Sebastian Baine of Makerere School of Public Health in Uganda is a keen advocate of the project, he said:

“PERFORM is an ambitious project that will lead to strengthening the performance of our current workforce and the wider health system”.

Dr. Patricia Akwengo of the University of Ghana echoes this view:

“The human resource crisis in the Ghana Health Sector challenges our ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals relating to maternal, child health, Malaria, TB and HIV by 2015.  The current policy in Ghana of increasing the numbers of health training schools is necessary but focusing on improving the performance of existing staff is critical for better health in Ghana.”

Dr. Sydney Ndeki explained how the Tanzanian partners will use the research process to work in partnership with managers at district level to “address local problems by innovating with human resource strategies to retain and develop health workers”. 


Tim Martineau
Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management
International Health Group


Notes to Editors

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) was founded in 1898 and was the first institution in the world dedicated to research and teaching in tropical medicine. LSTM has a strong track record in getting research into policy and practice.

For more information on the human resource crisis in Africa see Africa Health Workforce Observatory

PERFORM is supported by the European Commission with a grant of Euro 3 million.

LSTM’s partners in the research project are: 

Participant no.

Participant organisation name


1 (Coordinator)

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)



School of Public Health, University of Ghana (SPHG)

Only - no specific site



Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar-es-salaam  (IDST)



Makerere School of Public Health (MUSPH)




Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)



Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds (UNIVLEEDS)