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Africa Grants Programme

Supporting health partnerships to deliver health worker training programmes in low and middle income countries with a particular focus on surgery, anaesthesia and community health.

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Funded by Johnson & Johnson and managed by THET, the Africa Grants Programme (AGP) began in 2016 and provides funding to health partnerships across Africa.

THET has previously worked with Johnson & Johnson to manage the Strengthening Surgical Capacity programme. Projects under this scheme focused on reducing morbidity and mortality from conditions requiring surgical intervention and/or enhancing patient safety as a result of improved anaesthetic care.  Under this scheme 1,390 health professionals have been trained helping to improve care to thousands of patients.

New Grantees Announced 2019-2020

This new round of grants running from 2019 to 2020 supports projects that mobilise UK and Irish health workers to develop the capacity of health workers in Africa through skills transfer, training, mentoring and other collaborative work. The funding is available for projects designed to improve the standards of clinical training (at all education levels), the technical skills of staff, or the efficiency and capacity within healthcare systems.

Projects under the AGP 2019-20 will focus on strengthening the healthcare workforce in one of the following two target areas:

  1. Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care: the aim of this stream is to improve the access to, and availability of, quality essential surgery and anaesthetic care, particularly for maternal, neonatal or paediatric surgical conditions.
  2. Community Healthcare: this stream will focus on increasing the availability and quality of essential healthcare (including attended births) and health information to underserved populations, including women and children, by training those who work and serve on the frontline of healthcare systems.

Projects will be implemented in nine countries in Africa:

  • Zimbabwe
  • Ethiopia
  • The Gambia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Somaliland
  • Zambia
  • Malawi
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda

The following partnerships have been successful in receiving grants:

  • Exploring multidisciplinary problems in breast cancer investigation, diagnosis and specialist care in Zimbabwe
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: Association of Breast Surgery of Great Britain and Ireland
    • LMIC Partner: Bulawayo Breast Surgery Forum/United Bulawayo Hospitals
  • Improving the capacity for delivering Orthopaedic care to Barhir Dar and the surrounding Amhara region through sustained teaching and training in Ethiopia
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: Bristol Children’s Hospital
    • LMIC Partner: Tibebe Ghion Specialized Hospital
  • Gambia Anaesthesia Development Project
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – UK
    • LMIC Partner: Anesthetists’ Society of The Gambia
  • Development of the Ethiopia Anaesthesia Development Program
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: Global Anaesthesia Development Program
    • LMIC Partner: Addis Ababa University and Black Lion Hospital
  • Developing and implementing a Package of Safer Surgery Interventions in Kongo Central Province, DRC
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: King’s College London
    • LMIC Partner: Le Ministère Provincial de la Santé et Education (HPSE) Kongo Central
  • Triage and Safer Surgery in Hargeisa Group Hospital, Somaliland
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: King’s College London
    • LMIC Partner: Hargeisa Group Hospital
  • 20 Quality Improvement Projects in Perioperative Care as part of Bachelor of Science (BSC) in Anaesthesia, Zambia
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
    • LMIC Partner: Ministry of Health, Zambia
  • Advancing Access to Critical Care Education (AACCE) Stage 2, Zambia
    • Stream 1: Essential Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • UK Partner: Birmingham City University
    • LMIC Partner: Lusaka College of Nursing
  • Development of a partnership with a view to develop palliative care services for children in The Gambia
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • UK Partner: International Children’s Palliative Care Network
    • LMIC Partner: Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital/Gambia Ministry of Health
  • Development of Health Partnership to address ‘task shifting’ emergency dental care to Clinical Officers in rural Malawi
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • UK Partner: Bridge2Aid
    • LMIC Partner: Dental Association of Malawi
  • Malawi-Scotland Maternal Mental Health Partnership
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • UK Partner: Maternal Mental Health Scotland
    • LMIC Partner: St John of God Hospitaller Services
  • Training Health Workers to Prevent Skin Cancer among People with Albinism in Malawi
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • UK Partner: Standing Voice (NGO)
    • The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi
  • Suicide Prevention Training in Health Centres in Gulu, Northern Uganda
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • UK Partner: Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
    • LMIC Partner: District Health Office Gulu
  • Integrating an evidence based early intervention programme for young children with developmental disability into the public health system in Rwanda
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • UK Partner: University College London Hospitals
    • LMIC Partner: Partners In Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima

The following projects were awarded under AGP 2016. Each project ran for a twelve month period from May 2016 to April 2017.

Cairdeas International Palliative Care Trust (CIPCT) – Action Sahara pour la Santé, l’Innovation, le Développement et l’Éducation, which has been in partnership since 2014, trained 86 health workers to help increase the capacity to provide basic palliative care in Mauritania. As a result, the project reached over 25,000 people, including elderly people and pregnant women.

Lifebox and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre have been in partnership since 2012. The aim of the project was to reduce surgical complications and mortality by 40% by training nurses, and anaesthesia providers, distributing vital equipment to KCMC and surrounding hospitals and implementing the surgical safety checklist. As a result of this project, 192 health workers were trained including 13 as trainers and 107 pulse oximeters were distributed across 7 health care facilities. This equipment is now used for all surgical procedures at KCMC.

University of Oxford and The College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa COSECSA, aimed to implement a self-perpetuating primary trauma care teaching programme for Sudan. Currently, Sudan’s road accident rate is 33 per 100,000 population and road accidents are responsible for 3.6% of all deaths, totalling 9,312 in 2014. Through the project, 226 health workers have been trained in primary trauma care across 6 hospitals and have treated around 600 trauma patients. 31 trainers are now delivering primary trauma care training locally.

The Kambia Appeal and the Kambia District Health Management team, which began in 1992, aims to strengthen the capacity of maternal and child healthcare services at Primary Health Units in Kambia District, Sierra Leone. The project provided training and support to 193 health workers, including Maternal & Child Health Aides (MCHAs), MCHA Trainer/Assessors, and trainee MCHAs. As a result, 67 Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) demonstrated improved maternal and child care and 27 trainers are now delivering training independently to other health workers in the district.

The Powys Molo health link, who have been working together in Kenya since 2007, aimed to train and develop Community Health Workers capacity to identify and support disabled children, and their families, enabling their inclusion in community life. The project trained 139 CHWs to identify disabled children within their locality. 672 disabled children were subsequently identified and sign posted to appropriate support by the trained CHWs. In addition, the project held community awareness sessions and formed support groups for parents of disabled children.

Chelsea and Westminster NHS foundation trust and Kitovu hospital, Masaka Uganda, aims to improve the quality of maternal and neonatal healthcare in rural communities through directed training, reducing the number of maternal and new born deaths and illnesses. As a result, 76 local health workers across 20 health care facilities completed obstetrics and midwifery training and reached 14,400 patients by the end of the project.

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland Foundation, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi have worked together for over 10 years. Their project aimed to increase the capacity of anaesthesia providers to deliver SAFE obstetric anaesthesia care in Malawi. During their project, they trained 117 anaesthesia providers across 10 facilities and trained seven as trainers. The project was able to reach 6,442 patients.