King’s Global Health Partnerships works with health facilities, academic institutions and governments to strengthen health systems and improve the quality of care in four countries: Somaliland, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. We bring together expertise from King’s College London, King’s Health Partners’ NHS Trusts and our international partners to educate, train and support healthcare workers, strengthen healthcare and training institutions and enhance national health policies and systems.
We connect UK and African health professionals, providing training, mentoring and hands-on support; and undertake collaborative research to inform policy and practice. We also support our partners by providing access to funding, networks and development opportunities. Through these long-term partnerships and our global volunteering scheme we promote skills and knowledge exchange. This mutual learning contributes to building a stronger health workforce and improved quality of healthcare both internationally and in the UK.
King’s Global Health Partnerships: Covid-19 response
King’s Global Health Partnerships (KGHP) is actively supporting our African partners to respond to COVID-19. As a continent, Africa is particularly vulnerable. The capacity to provide critical care is the lowest in the world. In Sierra Leone, for example, there are only three doctors and 50 nurses per 100,000 people. By comparison, China has 180 doctors and 230 nurses per 100,000 people. We also know that the burden from COVID-19 will almost certainly have a negative impact on the care that people receive for other life-threatening illnesses – the Ebola outbreak in West Africa caused a similar number of deaths from malaria, HIV and tuberculosis as it did from Ebola related deaths, because the crisis prevented those people from receiving treatment.
With roughly one-third of hospitalised patients requiring intensive care, Covid-19 is likely to be unmanageable for health facilities, health workers and medical infrastructure. Although Africa is behind the rest of the world in terms of the spread of the virus, case numbers are rising fast. KGHP’s priority is to strengthen capability to respond, working closely with long-term partners - hospitals and governments in Sierra Leone, Somaliland and DR Congo. We are doing this by:
- Providing training and mentoring of frontline health workers to manage the most critically ill patients, increasing their chances of survival
- Providing advice and support to national governments as their strategies evolve
- Purchasing vital supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and essential medicine for the most vulnerable patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somaliland and Sierra Leone
- Working with local engineers to increase oxygen capacity to hospitals
- Deploying clinically trained volunteers when surge capacity is needed in government hospitals
- Keeping essential services running so that people with other life-threatening conditions continue to receive some care during the Covid-19 outbreak