We put health workers at the heart of our work. Forging partnerships with healthcare experts to deliver targeted training programmes in low and middle income countries.

VISION: A world where everyone has access to healthcare

MISSION: Working in partnership to support health workers across the world


THET has been supporting health workers around the world since 1989, improving patient care through targeted training programmes. We work with a diverse range of partners to build a world where everybody has access to affordable and quality healthcare. In the past six years alone, THET has reached over 74,000 health workers across 34 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Today, one-in-seven people around the world will never see a qualified health worker in their lives. For the communities that do, often they are faced with an under staffed, poorly resourced and inadequately trained workforce, a situation that results in poor patient care and unnecessary lives lost.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the world will need to recruit and train an additional thirteen million health workers in the decades to come. Without such a workforce no country will be able to meet their citizens’ right to health. 

Our Approach

For over twenty-five years, we have supported health partnerships between UK and overseas health institutions such as hospitals, universities and research centres. Partnerships deliver health worker training programmes based on the needs of the overseas partner institution. UK partners have access to skilled, expert health professionals who volunteer their time to deliver training courses to overseas health workers to help improve practice and patient care.

At the centre of our work over the past three decades has been the National Health Service (NHS). In the past four years alone, over 100 NHS institutions and 2,000 NHS staff have provided more than 87,000 days of their time to work with colleagues overseas.

This work brings benefit to health systems in low and middle income countries but is also having a beneficial impact on the NHS, as NHS staff return home with increased knowledge, improved leadership skills and a greater understanding of how to innovate in delivering healthcare with limited resources. That’s why we think Volunteers Work, for health, for change, for all.

What are health partnerships?

Health Partnerships are a model for improving health and health services based on ideas of co-development between actors and institutions from different countries. The partnerships are long-term but not permanent and are based on ideas of reciprocal learning and mutual benefits.

A health partnership is an on-going collaboration between health institutions in high income countries and those in low and middle income countries. By utilising the skills of volunteer health professionals, a partnerships primary aim is to share knowledge and information to train health workers and improve health services. They work to improve healthcare in a broad range of health areas by responding to needs identified by the developing country partner.

 Health Partnerships are a unique model for delivering effective overseas projects that improve healthcare in the communities that need it most. At the heart of our support for partnership work are our Principles of Partnership – eight principles that support health partnerships to improve the quality and effectiveness of what they do.

Our Work

We run large health workforce capacity development programmes in EthiopiaSomaliland & Zambia, have significant country presence in Tanzania and Uganda, and, under the Health Partnership Scheme, provide training, advice and grant support to health worker training projects involving more than 200 UK and overseas hospitals, universities and professional associations across 34 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) is a six year, £30 million programme that supports Health Partnerships in the UK to deliver effective health worker training projects in collaboration with overseas partners. HPS provides grant funding, advice & support to partnerships, and promotes UK involvement in volunteering.  

We work with Johnson & Johnson to deliver training programmes that strengthening health worker skills in surgical and anaesthetic care and community health, particularly within maternal and disability care.

While the primary focus of our work is to bring lasting improvements to healthcare in developing countries, our approach results in mutual benefits for both partners. We believe that international volunteering is a valuable asset to the UK health service and continually work to ensure volunteering achieves recognition of the contribution it is making to the quality of health services overseas and in the UK.

Head to our PUBLICATIONS page to find out more about us, our work and health partnerships.