A significant barrier to reducing health inequalities remains the shortage of health care workers in low income countries and a disproportionate concentration of skilled workers in high income countries ( Dodani S and LaPorte RE ,2005; World Health Organization 2011). As a way of exploring alternative ways of continuing to delivery high quality services across the globe, policy makers are now focusing more towards their Diaspora communities.
A definition of “Diaspora” is proposed as: “members of ethnic and national communities, who have left, but maintained links with their homelands”. The Uganda Diaspora Health Foundation was established in 2011 to integrate the expertise of Ugandan health professionals in Britain. Whilst individuals had been previously involved in project and hosting work in a global health partnership with East London NHS Trust- Butabika Hospital Link, a formal Diaspora group was proposed to provide greater opportunities for involvement and leadership in future work.
The group has a diverse range of health professionals including; nurses, midwives, psychologists, occupational therapists, medical engineers, medical/ nursing students, service users/ carers and also members from the private sector with expertise in accountancy, law, IT and business management.
The Uganda Diaspora Health Foundation works in collaborative and innovative way in identifying and delivering complex health care related projects both in United Kingdom and Uganda. In partnership with The East London National Health Service Trust- Butabika Hospital Link (www.butabikaeastlondon.com), Diaspora Members have helped in delivering complex, multi-year projects around Uganda to increase psychological skills of Psychiatric Clinical Officers, reduce violence in psychiatric wards, deliver a new service utilising those who have recovered from illness, and develop Ugandan expertise in child and adolescent mental health. The work of the Butabika Link is internationally recognised.
- Stress Management/ resilience training for health care workers using Mindfulness (ACT) Psychological Model (Diaspora nurses as facilitators – trained by Dr Paul Flaxman (City University) and Mr Cerdic Hall (East London NHS Trust).
- Non communicable disease awareness project in partnership with C3 Collaboration for Health, Uganda NCD Alliance, Uganda – UK Health Alliance, Heart sound Uganda; Butabika/ Mulago Hospitals.
- Development of Older Adults mental health services in Uganda
- E learning student project between Makerere University, Royal society of medicine UK and Kings’ College London Student peer to peer partnership.