Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s global health partnerships programme yesterday (Thursday) held a lecture and reception to celebrate 10 years of hospital staff volunteering in collaboration with healthcare workers across the globe, and announced its plans for the future.
A new future for Addenbrooke’s ten-year global health partnerships programme
The event also saw the launch of a change of name for the programme from Addenbrooke’s Abroad to Cambridge Global Health Partnerships. The new name reflects the programme’s growing work with health partnerships across the world, and aims to build on ten years of success by expanding the participation of Cambridge-based healthcare staff and academics to include other NHS staff and Cambridge Biomedical Campus partners.
Speakers at the event included, Minister of Health, Honourable Dorcas Makgato, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Botswana, who spoke about the role of health partnerships tackling the global health challenges that affect us all and Andrew Bastawrous, eye surgeon and social entrepreneur, speaking on Peek Vision (a portable eye examination system based on smartphones) and the importance of cross-sector collaboration to improve eye health services in low and middle-income countries.
Since the charitable programme was officially established in 2007 it has supported over 460 staff members to volunteer in excess of 10,100 days across 59 countries, training 3,860 people in a wide range of health specialisms.
The programme, which relies on charitable donations, supports staff in different roles to contribute to solving the global health challenges that affect us all. Active projects are ongoing in trauma and orthopaedics, neonatal and maternal health, critical care, ophthalmology, maxillofacial surgery and infectious diseases. Three long-term health partnerships have been established with the ministries of health of Botswana, El Salvador and Myanmar and there are plans to establish further partnerships in countries including The Philippines and Uganda, where the programme already has a project running in collaboration with a University of Cambridge research project.
Evelyn Brealey, Programme Director for Cambridge Global Heath Partnerships said: “We create and manage partnerships between hospitals and health professionals in Cambridge and our wider community, and governments and health organisations in low and middle-income countries. Our aim is to help solve common challenges and contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There are exciting times ahead and we will continue to work to inspire people, harness their expertise and provide the support they need to make the biggest impact safely, effectively and ethically.”
To achieve its mission of inspiring and enabling people to improve healthcare globally, the next ten years will see Cambridge Global Health Partnerships extending its reach to involve more healthcare workers, and maximise opportunities for reciprocal learning, development and research, by working more closely with partners across Cambridge and the global health community.
David Wherrett, Chair of Cambridge Global Health Partnerships and Director of Workforce at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) said: “In ten years our programme has grown in experience, expertise and ambition and I have been delighted to see how our staff volunteers have contributed in various ways, environments and countries around the world. For many of our volunteers it has been a transformative experience and we have seen very material benefits in terms of motivation, team building and leadership, as well as improvements to our own practices at CUH that have resulted from our volunteers’ experiences. I very much look forward to Cambridge Global Health Partnerships achieving even greater things in the next ten years.”
To find out more about Cambridge Global Health Partnerships please go to www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk/cambghp or call 01223 349824.
Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT) is the independent registered charity for Cambridge University Hospitals (including Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Rosie Hospital).