Webinar 18: Health Partnerships during the pandemic: Contributions and Lessons

September 3, 2020

WEBINAR SERIES: Webinar 18: Health Partnerships during the pandemic: Contributions and Lessons

The full suite of resources shared by speakers is available under each of their individual recordings, along with a summary of the points they made. A full list of additional resources shared by participants and hosts during the webinar can be found at the bottom of the page. 


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David Weakliam, Global Health Programme Director in the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). He represents Ireland in the ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships. He is Adjunct Professor in global health at University College Dublin.

View his contribution here

COVID-19 has caused a fundamental disruption to the central health services in LMICs. The virus has impacted upon the access and availability of services, as well as upon programmes to improve hospital care.

Key Learning:

  • The strength of the relationship between partners is related to the established trust, respect, mutual understanding and shared commitment towards long-term positive change
  • Flexibility – a key feature of partnership is being able to adapt to changes
  • New online ways of working can be effective. There has been a good engagement online and more potential of reach through online platforms. 

Francis Nyakoojo has been the Emergency Programme Manager with Concern Worldwide for the past 4 years. A medical doctor by training, Francis has over 10 years, practical experience coordinating and managing projects in humanitarian and development context in different countries in Africa. Currently, Francis is coordinating the Concern, GOAL and Trocaire consortium that is working alongside the ministry of health and sanitation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Serra Leone.

View his contribution here

Ireland’s three largest humanitarian agencies have teamed up with the Irish government to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone.

Two coordinated programmes was delivered across 11 of Sierra Leone’s 16 districts. The objective was to strengthen resilience and prevent/reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in targeted districts.

Key Learning:

  • COVID-19 has provided the opportunity to share resources and staff with different experiences and disciplines for a common goal
  • Partnerships were strengthened to support each other in terms of designing tools; monitoring and evaluation; delivering services and providing technical support

Olimjon Saidmamatov is a researcher at Urgench State University, Uzbekistan. He coordinates a partnerships supported by ESTHER Switzerland  connecting gynaecology surgeons of Fribourg Cantonal Hospital and Urgench Perinatal Hospital towards introducing spinal anaesthesia practices in laparoscopic surgeries.

View his contribution here

The Partnership between the Health Service Executive, Isqua (The International Society for Quality in Health Care) and the Ministry of Health was initiated in 2019 to build capacity of public hospitals in Addis Ababa.

Challenges that were met include implementation of training programmes and maintenance of quality improvement.

Key Learning:

  • Online platforms were used to deliver online training and for orientation sessions to medical students and staff.
  • When partnerships are created, there needs to be a consideration for challenges that may arise in the future. Thus, partners should work together to find alternative solutions or a ‘plan B’ together.

Joe Gallagher is a GP in The Palms GP Surgery in Gorey, County Wexford. The surgery is involved in a partnership with St John’s Hospital in Malawi, focusing on non-communicable diseases. During the pandemic the partnership has pivoted to COVID-19 with unexpected results. Joe is also a clinical associate professor in the School of Medicine at University College Dublin.

View his contribution here

“Ní neart go cur le chéile, mutu umodzi susenza denga”

“There is no strength without working together, one head doesn’t carry the roof”

Key Learning:

  • Rapid needs assessment was conducted using emails and online meetings. One of the biggest key gap was education for health-care workers and health-care managers.
  • Short relevant videos were developed to fill the gap. This generated 830,000 views in almost every country in Africa
  • The pandemic has created more interactions from people across the world
  • For Ireland this has: strengthen teamwork; given us a broader focus on COVID-19 and taught us new skills
  • More importantly, it reminds us that it is not all about us.

Desalegn Bekele TayeCoordinator of Quality Improvement case team at the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia. He is Health care quality and safety advocate professional with an MD from Bahir Dar University and he will speaking about the partnership between MoH and HSE and Isqua.

View his contribution here

Key Learning:

  • Video streaming of surgeries from Uzbekistan was translated to Switzerland to provide for training, and upkeep practices in introducing spinal anaesthesia in laparoscopic surgeries.

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