Health workers are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. Without them there is no healthcare and millions of us would have nowhere to turn to.
“We have benefited a lot from our partnership. Health workers in our institutions have both saved themselves and their families from the pandemic and played a critical role in prevention, awareness creation, care, and treatment of COVID-19 patients."
Health Action Leciester-University of Gondar partnership
Thanks to generous donations from our community to the Health Worker Action Fund, we have been able to support eight Health Partnerships in four countries across sub-Saharan Africa:
Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda and Somalia/Somaliland.
Through these partnerships, 2,578 health workers have received training, 2,346 have gained access to protective equipment and infection, prevention and control products, and a further 1,020 have received emotional or psychosocial support.
“Despite extremely difficult times that have severely tested staff and systems at both partner hospitals, we have achieved the HWAF activity which has further enhanced our broader partnership activity.”
Over the last year, Health Partnerships have worked flexibly and rapidly across borders, sharing expertise and delivering training on a range of crucial areas such as Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC), COVID-19 case management and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
In addition to clinical training, Health Partnerships have provided equally vital emotional and psychosocial support. From stigma to isolation and burnout, partnerships have provided health workers with the tools to overcome the multitude of challenges they have faced from a mental wellbeing perspective.
The provision of PPE in the form of masks, hand sanitiser and gloves has also ensured that health workers are able to carry out their roles safely and confidently at a time when shortages were extensive and access to key equipment was scarce.
From cleaners to doctors and pharmacists, the Health Worker Action Fund has made a difference for those at the forefront of healthcare delivery across a spectrum of professions and facilities. For example, the fund reached 1,620 nurses and nursing students as they have continued to play an invaluable role in patient care.
“This project has exceeded expectations; the partners are delighted to have been able to deliver workshops that have supported all staff and students...the outcomes will be sustained well beyond the lifetime of this short intensive project.”
Birmingham City University - Lusaka College of Nursing and Midwifery
Background: Partnership initiated in 2015 and partners have received two previous grants from THET for projects focusing on Critical Care Nursing.
The project: Develop a context specific COVID-19 training package for healthcare workers at the Lusaka College of Nursing and Midwifery and the University Teaching Hospitals. The training will focus on COVID-19 (symptoms, diagnosis, case management etc.), IPC, Nursing Care, Wellbeing and Psychological First Aid.
Background: This partnership is currently in receipt of a CwPAMS grant, looking to improve rates of infection on the maternity wards at Kawempe Hospital and Mulago Women’s Hospital.
The project: Building on the work of the CwPAMS project, the aim of this project is to support Uganda’s COVID-19 response by providing funds to Kawempe National Referral Hospital to: 1) procure scrubs and 2) manufacture alcohol gel in-house 3) share learning and guidance from CUH & wider UK and international sources.
Background: Over the last 10 years, the partners have worked together on a number of community mental health projects in Zambia.
The project: Boost existing strategies to protect health workers at Chipata Hospitals and the outlying district against contracting COVID-19 and support their mental resilience through access to information including on PPE production, infection control and training materials; through continuous sharing of advice and public health information and through responding to any challenging arising around the protection of health workers.
Background: The partnership was established in 2012 to support Zambia’s first Physician Anaesthetist training programme. Since then, the partners have worked together on a number of projects.
The project: Equipping Anaesthesia providers in Zambia with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suitable for aerosol-generating procedures and providing training on PPE use and safest reuse practices where there are severe shortages, with the main project activities being the local production of face shields, gowns and masks, development of cleaning protocols, guidance on IPC and PPE and trainings on use, cleaning and reuse of PPE.
Background: King’s Global Health Partnerships and HGH, together with THET, have a long-standing relationship, and are currently working together on triage and safer surgery.
The project: Contribute to the safety, motivation and wellbeing of health workers treating COVID-19 patients at Hargeisa Group Hospital from both a physical and psychological perspective.
Background: The partnership has worked together for several years to expand palliative care to rural communities and integration of palliative care into community healthcare provision for South Sudanese refugees in Adjumani district, Uganda.
The project: Provide pre-exposure and ongoing psychosocial support to health workers and help to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among palliative health care workers.
Background: Established in 2006, the partership have worked on a number of projects, including championing pharmacists as antibiotic guardians in Zambia and implementingthe first Paediatric Nursing course in Zambia.
The project: Building on the work of the ongoing CwPAMS project, this project aims to enhance Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) through capacity building to locally produce alcohol-based hand rub for preventing COVID 19 infection in Zambian teaching hospitals. This will be done by training pharmacists to produce alcohol-based hand rub in 5 hospitals across Zambia, and distributing hand rub and dispensers around the hospitals for the use of health workers.
Background: Health Action Leicester for Ethiopia and University Hospital Gondar have a long-standing partnership and have worked on a range or projects together largely focused on improving patient safety.
The project: To enhance the knowledge and practical needs of staff involved in the care of COVID-19 patients at Gondar Hospital whilst providing and displaying materials to promote health and avoidance of infections, particularly COVID-19.
We are proud that
of all funds donated have been spent on Health Partnership grants.
We are delighted to have had the support of Dame Julie Walters as we work to protect the physical and mental health and well-being of health workers in LMICs:
“I came to know of THET through the story of Saed. A nurse on the frontline in Somaliland, the challenges he is facing are different but his dedication to ensuring his patients receive the care they need has remained the same. Today the world is in the midst of a pandemic and we cannot face this alone. We must stand together. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with health workers all around the world and to support THET’s Lives on the Line: Health Worker Action Fund campaign, please stand with us.”
To find out more about our work with Julie Walters, please click here.
We are extremely grateful to have received a contribution to the Health Worker Action Fund from the Fraxinus Trust. Their support has been crucial in helping to provide Health Partnerships with the funding they need to ensure health workers in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia/Somaliland and Uganda have access to the training and resources they need to provide quality care to patients at this time of great need.
“Our support is an expression of solidarity with those health workers in Africa and Asia who achieve so much with so few resources in challenging environments.”
We are very pleased to have had Impax Asset Management as our corporate partner to support the Health Worker Action Fund:
“I am confident that we are enabling health workers to continue maintaining links and learning from each other so that their efforts can be strengthened in the post- COVID-19 era.”
We are delighted to have received support from InfoPro Digital for the Health Worker Action Fund. The kind donations and messages from the staff, some of whom we have worked with closely in the past, are a real encouragement to our work:
‘For the past two years different teams at InfoPro have gotten the chance to grow involved in a range of aspects of THET’s work, so I am delighted we are able to support the Health Worker Action Fund at this critical time.’