Global Health Exchange Fellowship Programme
The Health Education England - East Midlands' Global Health Exchange Fellowship Programme funded an opportunity for experiential learning about global health in two local contexts for two UK GP trainees in their final year of training. The four UK and Kenyan fellows worked together as a team during the entire six-month programme, were supervised by the project leads and local professionals, utilising existing community resources and expertise. The first two months they worked in a poor, rural and socially deprived community in Kenya, and subsequently, they were two months in a poor, inner-city socially deprived area in the UK.
The programme’s content and process were documented in an integrated comprehensive evaluation. Through a facilitated empowerment evaluation the fellows were enabled to do a health needs analysis and support the sustainable development of health in the two communities. The fellows left the communities with a new understanding of their global health issues, and some possible ways forward. All four fellows developed their personal and professional maturity, team working skills and transferable trans-cultural problem-solving skills and they all gained an in-depth understanding and compassion with communities in need. At the end of the programme, all fellows saw the understanding and skills they had developed as applicable to the work they will be doing as health professionals in their home countries. They have already given many presentations about their work in both lay and academic settings.
Global health encompasses worldwide health issues. It is not just a low-income country problem, and it is more than communicable diseases and campaigns. Global health embraces both prevention in populations and clinical care of individuals. It also aims to ensure a high level of local inclusion in education, training and initiatives that will comply with local community structures, customs and beliefs.
The Health Education East Midlands' Global Health Exchange Fellowship Programme complied with the latest recommendations from The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. These recommendations encourage the NHS and other health bodies to continue their support for health care systems, finding new ways and solutions to achieve universal health coverage, health worker education and training globally. The recommendations also encourage Health Education England and the equivalents in the other UK countries to support international volunteering and the education and training of UK healthcare and development workers abroad. The evaluation of the programme illustrated how the development and implementation of solutions to global health issues require the global cooperation of interdisciplinary teams within and beyond health sciences.
For more information, see the evaluation report below.