Health partnerships are a model for improving health and health services based on ideas of co-development between actors and institutions from different countries, in this case between the UK and several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The partnerships are long-term but not permanent, and are based on ideas of reciprocal learning and mutual benefits. Our partnership work focuses on capacity building – the development of sustainable skills, organisational structures, resources and commitment to improving health – through UK based faculty from KCL and other academic and NHS organisations, and KCL contracted overseas staff.
King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) is a long-term health partnership between King’s Health Partners, and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), Connaught Hospital and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The aim is to build a strong and resilient health system in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s civil war (1991-2002) and Ebola (EVD) epidemic (2014-2015) exposed fundamental weaknesses of community and public health systems, and disrupted and hindered health system strengthening initiatives that had been underway. During the EVD outbreak there was a marked reduction in healthcare utilization, and significant mortality among healthcare professionals, while others left the country. An in-country KSLP team of between 25-30 people at any one time, works across policy, service delivery, research, education and training, supported by our wider academic and NHS clinical communities. King’s also works closely with NGO partners (CHAI, Welbodi Partnership, Partners in Health), Public Health England and the World Health Organisation Country Office. KSLP provides support, liaison and coordination for a growing portfolio of KGHI research programmes based in Sierra Leone.
Since 2000, King’s Somaliland Partnership (KSP) has sought to maximise collaboration and mutual benefit between health institutions, professionals and students in the UK and Somaliland. To address the challenges facing the Somaliland health system, KSP focuses on health education and training, policy and regulation, hospital management and research. All programmes are designed and delivered by volunteer experts.
KSP has grown from a handful of volunteers working with Somaliland’s only health training institution at the time, to an organisation with an active base of over 150 individuals working across 11 speciality areas, from paediatrics to public health. Volunteers are practising UK experts – NHS clinicians, nurses, midwives, educationalists, academics, researchers, regulators, managers and directors – who donate their evenings, weekends, holidays and sabbaticals to the Partnership. Today, the Somaliland Partnership works with 13 key Somaliland institutions and reaches hundreds of Somaliland health professionals and students annually.
Democratic Republic of Congo
King’s Kongo Central Partnership (KKCP) is a long-term partnership between the King’s Centre for Global Health, the Kongo Central Ministry of Health, Hospital General de Kinkanda in Matadi and the Universite Joseph Kasa Vubu in Boma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. KKCP aims to increase the knowledge and skills of individual health workers and implement system change to meet the growing needs of the Kongo Central population, specifically in trauma care. Current work is focused on the development of a trauma registry and running Primary Trauma Care courses. The long-term goal of the partnership is to improve health outcomes through trauma system development, clinical care, research and training.