Becoming a King’s Global Health Partnerships volunteer

Global Health COVIDKing’s Global Health Partnerships are working in Somaliland, Sierra Leone, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support governments to strengthen healthcare and its outcomes by empowering people, strengthening organisations and enhancing healthcare systems. [Pictured right, Dr Mamadu Baldeh, Head of Infectious Diseases Unit at Connaught Hospital, Freetown and Dr Olivia Farrant, King’s Infectious Diseases Volunteer].

The COVID-19 pandemic has added pressure to health systems across the globe, including the countries in which King’s Global Health Partnerships works. This has made the work of staff and volunteers even more important. Many frontline health workers in Somaliland, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have faced challenges working in under-resourced communities, with many hospitals lacking vital supplies and equipment.

Experiences of stigma and fears over safety have also left many health workers isolated from their families and communities. Ongoing concern about the consequences for patients awaiting treatment for other diseases, such as malaria and HIV, has added to the complexity of providing clinical care throughout this pandemic.

In the face of this adversity, King’s Global Health Partnerships are providing vital COVID-19 training and mentoring for health workers, as well as continuing their health systems strengthening work with governments, hospitals, and training institutions. Sharing the latest evidence and providing psycho-social support has also helped health workers, and built confidence and morale for many on the frontline. Providing this mentoring and ongoing support has relied on the skill and passion of both staff and volunteers.

Much of this work has been supported by volunteers from across King’s Health Partners NHS Foundation Trusts. King’s Global Health Partnerships offers a range of volunteering opportunities for clinical and non-clinical staff. By engaging as peers, such as doctor-to-doctor, or nurse-to-nurse, and offering opportunities for bidirectional learning, our approach is rooted in trusted relationships, and works to achieve meaningful and lasting change.

Current opportunities to support global health

New volunteering opportunities are now available to support students and healthcare workers in Somaliland. These roles are vital in supporting the Prepared for Practice project which is working to address Somaliland’s health workforce crisis through reform of Medical & Nursing Education.

Opportunities become available throughout the year, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for new roles on our King’s Global Health Partnerships Volunteering Scheme webpage.

Please find below an overview of the volunteering opportunities now available in Somaliland.:

Online Undergraduate Courses 2020-2021

King’s Somaliland Partnership is looking for a volunteer tutor who can support undergraduate medical and nursing students. This role requires the delivery of short courses throughout the year and is also a key part of the Prepared for Practice project.

These courses are delivered online, via education platform, MedicineAfrica. This means that you can deliver courses remotely.

Health Professions Education Course 2020-2021

King’s Somaliland Partnership is also looking for volunteers who can deliver modules of the Health Professions Education Diploma, Master’s course to Somaliland faculty. This is an in-depth teaching programme offered at our partner institutions; University of Hargeisa, Amoud University and Edna Adan University. It aims to build the capacity of teaching staff and, in turn, reform institutional standards and practices.

This is a great opportunity for you to build on your existing experience in health education, encouraging practice-orientated learning, teaching, and assessment to support health workers.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this role will also be delivered online following a detailed induction. This is an exciting opportunity to support newly qualified doctors and nurses in Somaliland, albeit virtually.

Next steps…

The first deadline for applications is 6 September 2020 and please bear in mind that places fill up quickly.

You can find out more about each of these opportunities and how to apply, on our King’s Somaliland Partnerships webpages.

If you would like to support to King’s Global Health Partnerships’ COVID-19 response work through a donation, visit the partnerships fundraising page.

Liked this story? Read our article on eight reasons why you should become a Global Health volunteer