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Future International Workforce Programme

Across the world we are struggling to train, employ and retain a skilled health workforce. This is threatening post-pandemic recovery and leading to global health inequalities.

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Blue leaf


A safer, healthier, and more prosperous world for all of us is brought about by ensuring everyone, everywhere has access to quality health care through strong health systems.

The World Health Organization estimates there will be a global shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030, based on current trends. This challenge is felt most keenly in sub-Saharan Africa where countries bear 24% of the world’s disease burden, yet employ only 3% of the world’s health workers.

Funded by the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Future International Workforce Programme aims to address the global shortage of quality health workers and increase access to vital services for the poorest and most vulnerable including, refugee populations.

Through innovative Health Partnerships, underpinned by reciprocal exchanges of knowledge, skills and experience, UK health institutions and partner organisations in Africa are working together to develop responses to locally identified health workforce priorities.



Improving early identification and intervention for young children with developmental disability through community health systems strengthening in Uganda

This project between Adara Development Uganda at Kiwoko Hospital and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine aims to support early identification and intervention for young children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers in Uganda through strengthening community health systems and infrastructure. The Partnership will work to engage and train village health teams to identify children with developmental disability, strengthening community health systems in early child development to lay the groundwork for creating a sustainable referral and care pathway for affected families to access an innovative, low-cost, community-based early intervention programme.

Enhancing community for student mental health nurses: improving community mental health capabilities to meet Uganda’s identified health challenges

This newly instigated Partnership between Butabika School of Psychiatric Nursing (BSPN) and Manchester Metropolitan University will work to enhance community training for student mental health nurses, to meet Uganda’s identified health challenges. The aim is to develop community practice learning through developing BSPN’s capacity to deliver pre-registration learning and continuing professional development (CPD) for community nurses, and identify resource needs for pilot community practice placement sites. This will be achieved by developing culturally appropriate resources: a CPD portfolio that supports community nurses in developing their clinical and educational roles, and a train-the-trainer package to enable BSPN tutors to deliver key community skills and mentorship, for both pre-registration and qualified community nurses.

A health systems approach to strengthening community health in Wakiso District

Delivered by Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the main outcomes of this project will be a better functioning community health system through improved performance of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in relation to service delivery, data collection and reporting, and supervision. The main project activities will include: training CHWs, their coordinators and supervisors; supporting the establishment of model households; enhancing timely collection and transmission of CHWs data; supporting timely delivery of medicines to CHWs; as well as supporting coordination of the community health system.

Suicide awareness and prevention training of trainers programme in health centres in the Acholi sub-region of Northern Uganda

The Health Partnership between the Sheffield Health and Social Care (SHSC) NHS Foundation Trust and the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital is now in its 9th year, and this programme will build on the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Project previously funded by THET from 2019-2020. This programme will identify and support those at risk of suicide by influencing attitude, confidence and clinical practice of staff by applying a ‘train the trainer’ approach in suicide awareness and prevention, with the goal of reaching 184 staff from 26 health centres. Health workers will also be trained to provide support groups for those affected by suicide, and the programme will raise.


UK Somaliland Partnership for Improving Quality Care

Poor quality health care is a greater cause of mortality than limited access. Borama Regional Hospital and King’s Global Health Partnerships (King’s College London) are working with community health centres, a regional hospital, and the Ministry of Health and Development (MoHD) with the aim that national health system leaders will have increased understanding of quality improvement, new knowledge on the current state of quality and the context-specific barriers that exist to its improvement in Somaliland. This will catalyse wider improvements to quality; providing timely evidence for the development of the Health Sector Strategic Plan, laying the groundwork for the development of a National Patient Safety and Quality Strategy, and serving as a resource for MoHD to secure further financial investment in the quality agenda. Facilities will be supported to meet WHO core standards for patient safety in one priority clinical area, through an approach which will combine clinical training to address gaps in staff capacity, capacity building on quality improvement approaches and technical and financial support to implement small quality improvement projects.

Partnership for Surgical Systems Strengthening (PaSSS) in Somaliland

Surgery plays a critical role across the entire spectrum of human disease.  Emergency and essential surgical, anaesthesia and obstetric (SAO) care are recognised as integral to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but in Somaliland, the unmet burden of surgical care remains high. The Partnership between Somaliland Medical Association (SLMA) and The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng) has an aim to reduce preventable deaths and improve population health outcomes by increasing access to safe, affordable and timely essential surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care in Somaliland. The partnership will achieve its goal by establishing the framework and route map for surgical systems strengthening in Somaliland. This framework will comprise of the following: a national surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia plan, a surgical systems training needs survey and analysis, a pilot training and mentoring programme in essential and emergency skills, and an action plan to strengthen institutional capacity.

Ensuring healthier lives: Education and Leadership train the trainer programmes to strengthen sustainable maternity care provision in Somaliland

Somaliland currently has high maternal and neonatal mortality rates. Edna Adan University and Hospital (EAUH) and Coventry University, in partnership with Nursing Now Challenge, are developing, implementing and evaluating a train-the-trainer programme to upskill midwives in Somaliland to enhance workforce capacity, particularly in rural and nomadic communities. Harnessing expertise from midwives, nurses and clinicians from Somaliland and UK, alongside Somaliland graduate midwives, the partners will achieve their goal by adapting the ‘Advanced Clinical Practice Framework’ (Health Education England, 2017) to be culturally sensitive, supporting Somaliland graduate midwives with Clinical Practice, Facilitate Learning, Leadership, and Evidence, Research and  Development.

Strengthening primary care services for non-communicable diseases in Somaliland

The 2020 Somaliland Health and Demographics Survey indicates that a significant proportion of the population suffer from non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure and cardiovascular diseases. The University of Burao and the University of Wolverhampton are working to strengthen primary care services for the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Somaliland. This project will involve a detailed assessment of the existing system for the management of NCDs and work with policy makers at the Ministry of Health to develop a National strategy and guidelines for the prevention and management of NCDs. A pilot capacity building workshop for healthcare workers and administrators, selected from rural health facilities and regional referral centres across Togdheer and Maroodi Jeex regions, will also be implemented.


With our technical partner, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, we are developing partnerships between local health systems and NHS institutions to:

1. Develop health workforce governance and leadership professional development for up to 50 staff from the Ghana Ministry of Health and its Agencies at national and regional levels

2. Support a partnership between the Ghanaian Nursing and Midwifery Council and relevant UK peer institutions as a route to strengthening the regulation and planning of the Nursing and Midwifery workforce.

3. Support the Ghanaian College of Surgeons and Physicians to review and update their curricula along with other priorities

4. Evaluation of Ghana’s Human Resource Management policies and practices, including incentive packages, in attracting and retaining essential cadres in deprived or underserved locations/facilities.