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New Global Health Workforce Programme provides £8.9 million to strengthen health workforce in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria

4 September 2023


Funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and managed by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), the Global Health Workforce Programme (GHWP) aims to strengthen the health workforce in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The programme has the ambition of achieving more resilient health systems for post-pandemic recovery and supporting progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Grants for new or existing Health Partnerships between UK, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria will be awarded to respond to national workforce priorities identified through a scoping assessment which is due to be carried out in partnership with national governments and stakeholders, along with the DHSC and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in autumn 2023. Successful grants will then be awarded to run from February 2024 until January 2025.

Throughout the programme, THET will liaise closely with the WHO country offices which contribute toward Human Resources for Health planning and management in each grantee country.

Chief Executive of THET, Ben Simms, commented: “The health workforce is at the centre of every health system and is key to achieving Universal Health Coverage. However, many countries are grappling with major health workforce challenges such as critical shortages in the supply of workers, an inadequate mix of skills in the workforce, inequitable geographical distribution of health workers, and gaps in their competencies, motivation, and performance.”

Mr Simms continued: “THET is delighted to be managing this exciting new programme, which provides a significant budget to co-create a stronger health workforce in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The programme, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, is a vote of confidence in the proven Health Partnership model which THET has been championing for 35 years.”

With a strong focus on building local ownership and sustainability, each partnership will contribute to programmatic outcomes including improved health workforce leadership capacity aligned with health workforce strategies, support for a reduction in gender inequalities, and an improved number and quality of training opportunities for health workers.

Health Minister Will Quince MP said: “Highly skilled, resilient staff are the backbone of a strong health service, so I’m delighted we can support the training, recruitment and retention of skilled health workforces in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.

“This funding aims to make a real difference in strengthening the performance of health systems in each of the participating countries, which will have a knock-on effect on boosting global pandemic preparedness and reducing health inequalities.

“The pandemic showed us that patients in the UK are not safe unless the world as a whole is resilient against health threats, and this will help us in delivering on that ambition.”

THET will award up to 20 strategic grants of £200,000 – £350,000 with the grants split across the three countries, although the exact split is dependent on the number and quality of applications received and broader priorities. 15 smaller grants of up to £50,000 will also be available for projects on specific areas such as innovation, rural health facilities, diaspora engagement, leadership opportunities for women and protected groups, and the climate crisis.

The new programme comes during the 75th anniversary celebrations of the NHS and in the lead up to the September UN High-Level Meeting on UHC, with the grant call due later this year and the programme set to run until early 2025.

Mr Simms added: “We are extremely grateful to have this opportunity to again work with our colleagues at the Department of Health and Social Care and colleagues in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria to make another big step toward Universal Health Coverage through a stronger health workforce globally.”

We encourage institutions interested in applying to fill out our Expression of Interest survey here.

Please email grants@thet.org with any specific queries about the Global Health Workforce Programme, and to stay up to date with our work, please sign-up to our newsletter here and follow us on X (@THETlinks).

For additional information about the UK Government funding for the Global Health Workforce Programme, visit the GOV.UK website here.

This post was written by:

External Engagement Team - THET


  • Iseberetonma Victor
    07 Sep 2023 01:46
    I really appreciate this initiative. My question is can an individual who is interested apply to be part of the initiative? This is because I am interested and want to be part of this initiative. Thanks.
    Grants team
    11 Sep 2023 21:13
    Hi Iseberetonma, thank you for your question. Applications will only be accepted from institutions, not individuals.
  • Dr. Josephine Gbobbo
    05 Sep 2023 12:40
    This is a welcoming development. Universal Health Coverage is very essential to improve the quality of health care in our countries.
  • Sheo Tibrewal
    04 Sep 2023 15:23
    I welcome this initiative which would help many like minded people to promote the aims of THET. I would be interested in applying for the funding for two of my projects in Kenya .
  • Alison Sanneh
    04 Sep 2023 13:22
    Could you adivise on deadline for expression if interest so that our partners can co ordinate meetings. Thank you
    Jonathon Foster
    04 Sep 2023 13:46
    Hi Alison, Expressions of Interest should be completed via the form in the article no later than Friday, 3rd November 2023.

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