British Leadership in Global Health: How an NHS Midwife is Exporting British Expertise to Save Lives across Africa

 

Author: Kade Mondeh

Kade Mondeh, Consultant Midwife, Barts Hospital

Kade Mondeh, Consultant Midwife, Barts Hospital

It is no secret that the UK’s contribution to Global health has played a tremendous role in health care delivery globally, and most notably in Africa.

I speak as a Diasporan who has studied and worked in the UK for nearly 30 years, and who has worked extensively on Global health programs in Africa. I have first-hand experience working as a clinician in the NHS Trust, and have had the opportunity to share that experience through UK funded projects such as the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) and other charities.

As a practicing midwife the question I have increasingly asked myself is: Why, in spite of the Millennium and recent Sustainable Development goals, and the tremendous support that has been invested by donor agencies over the years, is maternal mortality and morbidity is still so high in developing countries? 

From my experience, I believe there is an increasing need for both the UK and developing countries to begin to question and explore actual needs assessments, and make sure that local facilities are understood by host nations.

Events like the Coalition’s panel on British leadership in Global health, not only bring a range of experts together in one room, but enable critical thinking in health care delivery for developing countries, and provide invaluable opportunities for shared learning. Questions such as: What ensures the UK maintains its Global leadership position? What ensures the UK is pivotal in influencing change? What makes change sustainable? How do we measure time and resources that contribute to safe delivery of health care globally? All need to be asked and discussed at every possible opportunity.

With the vision of eradicating preventable diseases around the world, making financial commitments is of course of utmost importance. However, what is equally important is the training of local personnel in host countries and using local resources that will contribute to bringing about impactful and sustainable change.