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International outlook: RCN partnership scheme aids nursing development in Zambia

The government has promised to fund more partnerships between healthcare organisations in the UK and developing world.
The_Safe_Surgery_Champions

The government has promised to fund more partnerships between healthcare organisations in the UK and developing world.

For the past six years, the Department for International Development has been funding projects between health organisations in the UK and those in resource-poor settings as part of its Health Partnership Scheme.

The scheme is led and coordinated by the Tropical Health and Education Trust, and has involved more than 200 UK and overseas hospitals, universities and professional associations across 34 countries. These partnerships can help improve learning and leadership in healthcare institutions in the developing world and the UK.

The RCNs two-year collaboration with the Zambia Union of Nurses Organization (ZUNO) has been part funded through this scheme.

This project has focused on strengthening the voice of nursing in Zambia to influence policy and improve

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The government has promised to fund more partnerships between healthcare organisations in the UK and developing world.

The_Safe_Surgery_Champions
Safe-surgery champions in the Zambia Union of Nurses Organization

For the past six years, the Department for International Development has been funding projects between health organisations in the UK and those in resource-poor settings as part of its Health Partnership Scheme.

The scheme is led and coordinated by the Tropical Health and Education Trust, and has involved more than 200 UK and overseas hospitals, universities and professional associations across 34 countries. These partnerships can help improve learning and leadership in healthcare institutions in the developing world and the UK.

The RCN’s two-year collaboration with the Zambia Union of Nurses Organization (ZUNO) has been part funded through this scheme.

This project has focused on strengthening the voice of nursing in Zambia to influence policy and improve practice, with an emphasis on developing leadership and advocacy skills.

As part of the project, the RCN has supported and mentored ZUNO staff to implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) safe-surgery checklist at the University Teaching Hospital, in Lusaka, Kabwe General Hospital and Kabwe Mine Hospital.

Safer surgery

A second-phase RCN-ZUNO project to embed the safer-surgery work across Zambia, for example through continuing professional development and curriculum review, has just commenced.

Focusing on a significant issue for the Zambian healthcare service has helped to strengthen ZUNO’s reputation and credibility as a professional association, as evidenced by its improved standing with other professional associations in Zambia as well as its increased role in liaising between theatre teams and hospital management.

In addition, more than 200 theatre staff and 30 safer-surgery champions have been trained, and ZUNO’s membership has also increased.

After a positive review of the current Health Partnership Scheme, the UK government has committed itself to funding more such collaborations. This commitment is due to be announced soon, and will offer a great opportunity to support initiatives from NHS partners and beyond.

Details of the Tropical Health and Education Trust are available here.


About the author

Susan_Williams2

Susan Williams is head of international affairs at the RCN

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