This paper presents the results of an interim evaluation of an initiative funded by the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) and hosted by the Liverpool-Mulago-Partnership. Internationalisation is becoming an essential dimension of clinical careers resulting in a growth in professional volunteering in developing countries. The Ugandan Maternal and Newborn Hub, formed in 2011 seeks to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Uganda through improved partnership.
In 2012 the HUB was awarded funding through THET’s Health Partnership Scheme to set up the ‘Sustainable Volunteering Project’ (SVP). The SVP is responsible for the recruitment, deployment and evaluation of professional volunteers across the HUB. It aims to:
Reduce Maternal and Newborn Mortality in Uganda through the placement of professional volunteers.
Develop, promote and evaluate a model for sustainable and effective professional voluntarism
Working in close partnership with the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Midwives the SVP aims to provide a more supportive and effective environment for clinical volunteering.
The paper presents results of the interim evaluation outlining key areas of intervention including the reduction of caesarean-section rates through instrumental (vacuum) delivery; the promotion of Early Warning Scoring Systems; Infection Control and High Dependency Maternal/Neo-natal Care. It assesses the role of clinical volunteers in promoting sustainable change in development settings and in terms of the acquisition of clinical skills and experience for early career clinicians returning to the UK.
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