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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 2018-2019

This new round of grants running from January 2018 to April 2019, 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 will be implemented in four countries in Africa:

  • Ghana
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Uganda

The following partnerships have been successful in receiving grants:

  • Develop the capacity of surgeons and nurses in the use of laparoscopy for paediatrics in Ghana
    • Stream 1: Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • Royal Hospital for Sick Children
    • Korle Bu Teaching Hospital
  • REACH -RCGP Education for Advancing Community Health, Sierra Leone
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • Royal College of General Practitioners
    • Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Sierra Leone
  • Expansion of MCHA Mentoring Across Kambia District, Sierra Leone
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • The Kambia Appeal
    • Kambia District Health Management Team
  • Implementing the Surgical Safety Checklist and Structured Primary Trauma Care in Sierra Leone
    • Stream 1: Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • King’s College London, King’s Sierra Leone Partnership
    • University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospitals Complex – Connaught Hospital
  • SAFE Operating Rooms Uganda
    • Stream 1: Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI)
    • Association of Anesthesiologists of Uganda (AAU)
  • Safe Anaesthesia from Education (SAFE) Paediatrics, South Africa
    • Stream 1: Surgical and Anaesthetic Care
    • World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists-UK
    • The South African Society of Anaesthesiologists
  • Integration of palliative care into community healthcare provision for South Sudanese refugees in Adjumani district, Uganda
    • Stream 2: Community Healthcare
    • Cairdeas International Palliative Care Trust
    • Palliative Care Education and Research Consortium (PcERC)

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.