Volunteer with King’s Global Health Partnerships
Laura Hucks, Director King’s Global Health Partnerships
Are you interested in learning more about global health? Would you like to use your skills in a different cultural context? King’s Global Health Partnerships (KGHP) is an initiative of King’s Health Partners, which aims to support NHS staff from across the KHP trusts to engage in global health and to contribute to health system strengthening in four African countries: Zambia, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We are looking for NHS staff from a range of sectors to volunteer with us. This involves working collaboratively with frontline health professionals, educators, and policy makers to improve patient care.
Our African partners are working in challenging contexts. These countries have historically had weak political systems – the legacy of colonialism - often exacerbated by conflicts and health emergencies, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and more recently COVID-19. Health worker shortages are felt most acutely in Africa where, according to WHO, there is an average ratio of 1.55 health workers, compared to a WHO target of 4.45 health workers per 1,000 people needed to deliver essential health services.
A high burden of disease, lack of essential equipment and supplies, poor pay, and lack of opportunities for career development are some of the challenges facing health professionals.
KGHP connects UK and African health professionals to work in partnership – this is critical to the success of our work and is valued by our African partners. Volunteering with KGHP provides an opportunity for mutual learning and knowledge exchange between peers. For NHS staff, it’s a chance to make a difference, to build relationships and develop new skills.
Quality of care
The focus of KGHP’s work is on improving the quality of care and strengthening the health workforce. There are different ways for staff to get involved. Remotely – working online with colleagues in our partner countries to deliver training and mentoring or closely supporting the development of policies, guidelines, training materials, systems, and standard operating procedures.
You can also engage through short trips to deliver a specific piece of work like a training workshop or an assessment. Or there is the possibility to do longer term placements (usually six-months or a year) in Sierra Leone or Zambia, working alongside partners in a hospital or university setting. However you engage, the focus is on collaboration with partners from the design of the activity to its delivery. The KGHP staff team will support you to make sure that you get the most out of the experience.
If you’re curious to find out more, please join us for an informal information session on the evening of 27 April. There will be free drinks, snacks and friendly faces. We will be inviting current and ex-volunteers to share their experiences.
Or take a look at these testimonies from previous volunteers:
You can also follow us on Twitter @KingsGHP or sign up for our newsletter.