Chair of Social Policy, Professor Louise Ackers’ health partnership project has been awarded £200,000 by the Department for International Development (DFID) to help improve healthcare in Uganda.
The grant follows a number of successful projects, which have helped to send healthcare experts to Uganda and establish biomedical engineering as a profession within the country.
One of Professor Ackers’ previous projects, the ‘Sustainable Volunteers Project’, funded by DFID and the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET), has helped send around 50 healthcare experts to Uganda to train medical staff.
One healthcare expert, Dr Robert Ssekitoleko, a Ugandan-born and British-trained biomedical engineer was able to travel to Uganda as part of the project and has played a key role in securing this £200,000 DFID grant. Currently, much of the technology that is used in Ugandan hospitals is obsolete or damaged and generally those employed to fix specialist medical equipment are handypeople or electricians. Since 2013 Robert has trained Ugandan healthcare staff in how to properly repair vital medical equipment used in maternal and new-born health.
The ultimate aim of the project is to ensure Ugandan healthcare staff are equipped with the skills to take on the healthcare challenges facing the nation.
Following the grant announcement, Professor Louise Ackers said: “The initial aim of the work we are doing in Uganda was focussed on stopping mothers dying during childbirth. That is why this grant is so important; it will help us save lives.
‘Partnership is central to everything we do. It’s great that this support allows us to continue to work in close collaboration with our partners at home and in Uganda. We are now able to extend the reach of the project beyond maternal and new-born health to all clinical areas, positively impacting on more people’s lives.”
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