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International Development: Health

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 26 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What they have done, since the publication of the Department for International Development's 2006 White Paper, Eliminating World Poverty, to implement the commitment (mentioned in page 79) to help African partners solve their health staffing crises by expanding links between the UK National Health Service and poor countries; and what plans they have for further action. [HL3160]

The principal way that DfID supports links between the UK National Health Service and poor countries is via financial support to the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET). THET provides support and best-practice guidance for links between UK health institutions and those in developing countries.

Lord Crisp's report, Global Health Partnerships, highlighted the valuable contribution that the UK NHS can make to strengthening health capacity globally. The report made a number of recommendations on the best ways of doing this, including continued support to THET.

The inter-ministerial group on health capacity in developing countries will oversee work to take forward the report. Trained health workers are the backbone of health services around the world. DfID supports its African partners to develop strategic national plans for the training and retention of health workers and to increase investment to the health sector overall, through both co-ordinated international support and domestic resources.