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Lives on the Line | The Health Worker Action Fund

Health workers stand on the frontline of this pandemic, without them there is no healthcare and millions of us would have nowhere to turn to.

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Blue leaf

“We [Africa] are in the morning of the outbreak at the moment. China is in the sunset….The only option we have is to continue to work with global solidarity.”

John Nkengasong, PhD, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control

In recognition of the vulnerability of health workers to Covid-19, from both a physical and mental health perspective, the key objective of the Fund is to protect the health and well-being of as many LMIC front-line health workers as possible. Working to care for those on the frontlines, providing them with the training, equipment and support they need.

The Fund focuses efforts within countries where THET have an organisational presence to enable us to ensure coordination of efforts:

Ethiopia | Myanmar | Tanzania | Somalia/Somaliland | Uganda | Zambia

New Grantees Announced!

Birmingham City University – Lusaka College of Nursing and Midwifery, Zambia

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.

Cambridge University Hospitals (Cambridge Global Health Partnerships) – Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Uganda.

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.

NHS Highland – Chipata Central Hospital, Zambia

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.

Global Anaesthesia Development Project – University Teaching Hospital, Zambia

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.

Kings College London – Hargeisa Group Hospital, Somaliland

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.

Cairdeas International Palliative Care Trust (Cairdeas IPCT) – Peace Hospice Adjumani (PEACHOA), Uganda.

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.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust (and University of Sussex) – Hospital Pharmacists Association of Zambia (and University Teaching Hospital Lusaka and Ndola Teaching Hospital)

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.

Health Action Leicester for Ethiopia (HALE) – University Hospital, Gondar

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

100%

of all funds donated have been spent on Health Partnership grants.

Donations received are being used to provide health workers with:

LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENT AND PROTECTION.

Urgently needed protection and resources to keep health workers safe every day. We are funding activities such as:

  • Items that support Infection Prevention Control initiatives (e.g. soap, ingredients for making antiviral hand-gel).
  • Evidence-based, safe, effective and innovative Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) solutions.

 

REMOTE TRAINING, MENTORSHIP AND ADVICE.

Access to vital information and training to support the detection and treatment of patients affected by COVID-19 can help save lives. We are funding activities such as:

  • Remote training on responding to COVID-19, including remote surveillance, using PPE effectively and/or IPC by funding online subscriptions and courses.
  • Supporting the creation of mentorship systems where LMIC and UK health workers can share lessons learned and exchange up to date resources and best practice.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY.

Health workers everywhere need, now more than ever, strong support networks. We are funding activities which:

  • Support the psychological resilience of health workers, whether through remote training, leadership development or facilitation of support groups (e.g. through Schwartz Rounds).

Our Supporters

We are delighted to have 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.

Partners

As THET moves to support those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extremely grateful to have received a contribution to the Health Worker Action Fund from the Fraxinus Trust. Their support is crucial as we work to provide Health Partnerships with the funding they need to ensure health workers in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Tanzania, Somalia/Somaliland and Uganda are able to access 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.”

Click here to find out more.

We are very pleased to have Impax Asset Management as the first of our corporate partners 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.”

Read more about our partnership here.

We are delighted to receive 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.’

Read more about our work with InfoPro here.