Reflections on the #SummerUndod2022 Health Partnerships session
At the #SummerUndod2022 event in Bangor on 7th July, Dr Kit Chalmers, Head of Policy and Learning at the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) facilitated a one-hour session for health partnerships to network and share experiences, challenges, and successes.
There were representatives from the Betsi-Quthing link (Lesotho), the Glan Clwyd-Hossana link, (Ethiopia) the Betsi-Busia link (Kenya), the Antimicrobial Pharmacists link (Malawi), a newly-forming mental health partnership in São Tomé and Príncipe, and projects working on period poverty and menstrual health and hygiene, including Nigeria’s Network of Women for Sustainable Development. There were also attendees from non-health partnerships who participated in the discussions.
“Thanks for organising an excellent meeting – it was good to meet up with people, chat about progress , and make new contacts” – Participant from the Glan Clwyd-Hossana link
The links shared their experience of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges, successes and learning.
Participants were able to network and exchange contacts after the session, and feedback overall was that this was a really useful session after a long period of time since the last one.
Four Key Learning Points:
- The challenge of coping with extreme pressure of clinical work through the pandemic and maintaining focus on partnership
- The opportunities afforded by the pandemic to give more ownership for implementation to partners, rely on their knowledge and experience to respond appropriately, and the successes of taking this approach
- The importance of trusted relationships, particularly having members of the African diaspora in Wales who were an enabling presence
- The imperative of taking a community-led approach and working with community health workers for public health outcomes.