Scholarship success: Umthombo Youth Development Foundation

A J Ross, R G MacGregor


The well-recognised shortage of healthcare workers in South Africa is compounded in rural areas due to the misdistribution of those in favour of urban areas. Numerous local and international studies have documented that students of rural origin are more likely to return to work in rural areas. However, rural health science students are underrepresented at South African universities. The Umthombo Youth Development Foundation (UYDF) – originally Friends of Mosvold Scholarship Scheme – was started in January 1999 in Ingwavuma, one of the most socially deprived and educationally challenged areas in the country. The aim of the scheme is to address the shortage of qualified healthcare workers at rural hospitals through the training and support of rural youth to become qualified healthcare professionals (

Authors' affiliations

A J Ross, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal

R G MacGregor, Director, Umthombo Youth Development Foundation

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Rural, youth; Medical education; Scholarships

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(5):288.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-02-15
Date published: 2012-03-21

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