The initiative is currently promoting 113 projects in 37 countries. The range of focal themes covered encompasses mental health, nursing, oncology, e-health, gynaecology and midwifery, ophthalmology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, surgery and dental health. Take a look at the projects the initiative is already supporting.

The global context

'Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.' It is not just the international community that is committed to achieving this. The Hospital Partnerships initiative also supports this international goal of the 2030 Agenda and is aligned with Germany's development policy for the health sector.

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Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the international community’s pledge to unite in tackling global challenges. In the SDGs, it also commits to ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages (SDG 3). The German Government has therefore made health a priority of German development cooperation.

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Universal health coverage

To guarantee a healthy life for all, the 2030 Agenda calls for universal health coverage (UHC). This means that everyone is guaranteed access to high quality health services when they need them, without incurring any financial hardship as a result. Universal health coverage encompasses the entire spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion, to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and palliative care.

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Health systems strengthening

A country's health system should ensure the population is protected as well as possible against disease. And when citizens do fall ill, they should receive optimal care. In most developing countries and emerging economies, however, health systems are not sufficiently equipped to avert health risks, and guarantee access to pertinent information and appropriate health services for all. Better health systems are therefore a focus of our partnership projects. One particular concern here is the quality of care for the poor and disadvantaged.

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Partners strengthen health

The partnerships specifically aim to strength health systems in low and middle income countries. Having professional peers share their experience generates results on various levels. The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes institutional partnerships since many years - Twinning partnerships for improvement - and developed practical tools for the implementation of partnership projects. The ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships promotes institutional health partnerships through knowledge generation, sharing best practice, collaboration and advocacy. ESTHER is a dynamic alliance of Government and allied organizations committed to joint action, guided by shared values and principles. By working together, we can broaden the reach and effectiveness of institutional health partnerships.

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Our principles

We attach importance to sustainability, transparency, ethical principles and equal partnership.

Partnership success is based on the quality principles of the ESTHER Alliance, of which Germany is a member. The hospital partnerships constitute a significant contribution to this alliance of countries and organisations which develops and promotes North-South partnerships capable of pursuing their objectives innovatively and as equals.
Deko Partnerschaft

Equal partnerships

We promote projects in which the partners work together and learn from each other respectfully and as equals. Successful project partnerships should not just be driven by committed individuals, but should be propelled forward in equal measure by the engagement and responsibility of both partner organisations. It is crucially important that the partner organisations jointly define objectives, measures and approaches, and take decisions together. Successful cooperation in a partnership is based on trust and transparency, which is ensured by regular and open information sharing.

Deko Lokalerkontext

Being embedded in the local context

We promote projects that are responsive to local needs. Aligned with national guidelines, the projects help achieve the partner country's health policy goals and work with key actors, such as the ministry of health. WHO country offices and GIZ projects deliver local services that advise on ways of embedding partnership projects in the countries’ respective health care systems. This prevents the duplication both of activities and of structures. At the same time, it also ensures that actors continue their activities after the project has ended and that the project is aligned with national health strategies.

Deko Nachhaltigeraufbau

Sustainable knowledge and capacity development

In the long term, successful partnerships help ensure that health professionals and organisations are better equipped to improve their local health services. To ensure that the results generated are not limited to the duration of the project, training measures or peer-to-peer exchange programmes are designed in a way that embeds knowledge and capacities at a central point within an organisation, enabling them to be transferred to others.

Deko Geschlechtergleichstellung

Gender equality

Projects that contribute to gender equality and help eradicate inequality are sustainable. Project partners must continuously think about how project activities impact gender equality – amongst patients and also health professionals.

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Compliance with ethical and scientific standards

We only promote projects that meet recognised ethical standards. These include respect for patient autonomy, the principle of loss prevention, care and justice, and ethical guidelines on medical research. The measures benefit poor or disadvantaged members of the population. Furthermore, research activities conducted as part of the project must meet the latest scientific standards.

Unsere thematischen Schwerpunkte

To make a sustainable contribution in partner countries, the initiative focuses on training health professionals and on delivering targeted advisory services that sustainably improve structures, processes and quality management in health institutions for all patients and medical personnel. Our partnership projects thereby deliver capacity development across a broad range of focal themes.

Current focus topic of the University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa: Patient safety

Anaesthesia, Intensive care and emergency medicine
Eye health
Ear, nose and throat health
Internal Medicine
Hospital and quality management
Microbiology and laboratory diagnostics
Mother and child health
Non-communicable diseases
Palliative medicine
Patient safety
Mental health
Communicable diseases
Dental health