Emergencies preparedness, response

Institutional health partnerships

Ebola: Health systems recovery

Redemption Hospital, Monrovia, was at the center of the Ebola epidemic in 2014, Liberia
WHO/S. Saporito

Our main focus is to develop strong global hospital and health institution twinning partnerships to connect frontline health workers across borders, building capacity for the safe reactivation of essential health services in Ebola-affected countries.

This builds on the approach taken by the WHO African Partnerships for Patient Safety programme (APPS). The focus is on immediate needs, but also clearly looks towards the transition of each country from early recovery to more medium-term efforts in health workforce capacity building.

Key activity areas

The experience of the WHO African Partnerships for Patient Safety (APPS) programme in over 20 African countries is being built on to develop hospital twinning partnerships in support of the early recovery efforts. The work to date has been conducted in close collaboration with existing hospital twinning partnerships in Ebola-affected countries, as well as with technical agencies.

WHO’s work in service delivery and safety is increasing across the African Region, particularly in infection prevention and control, and patient safety. Experience from established partnership networks in France, UK, and USA with African hospitals provides a foundation for rapid partnership activities.

Work includes the provision of direct support to specific partnerships, harnessing opportunities to build national networks of hospital twinning partnerships and tailoring twinning partnership tools and resources for use in this early recovery context.

Technical areas of focus are those emphasized in early recovery, as well as building on the ongoing quality and safety work, specifically in areas of infection prevention and control, waste management and surgical safety. Health worker motivation can also be addressed through linkages between frontline health workers across countries.

The use of a validated 6-step process for partnership implementation is being applied through a range of tools and resources (co-developed by hospital partnerships from across Africa).

Twinning partnership activities are fully aligned to the national recovery priorities on the reactivation of essential services, with a specific focus on patient safety and quality universal health coverage.

Current ongoing twinning partnerships in early recovery

Early recovery activity is being catalysed in the partnership between Johns Hopkins University Hospital, in Baltimore, USA and their partner hospital, Jackson F. Doe, in Liberia. Four hospital-to-hospital partnerships are also being supported between Liberian and French hospitals through Expertise France, as well as the development of multiple twinning partnerships in Guinea. Tailored support is being developed for long-standing twinning partnership between the UK and Sierra Leone.