Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET)

THET is a global health organization that trains and supports health workers through health partnerships, enabling people in low and middle income countries to access essential healthcare.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 7.2 million additional health workers are needed worldwide. Health workers are vital to ensuring the health of populations around the world. This lack of human resources for health is a critical constraint to sustainable development in many lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  But it's not just a lack of health professionals, without an adequately trained and appropriately distributed health workforce, countries cannot run effective health systems or meet the basic human right of access to essential healthcare.  Currently, one-in-seven people around the world will never see a qualified health worker in their lives.

Our Approach:

Over twenty-five years, THET has led, supported and grown a unique partnership approach that harnesses the skills, knowledge and technical expertise of UK health professionals to meet the training and education needs identified in low-resource settings.

We run large health workforce capacity development programmes in Zambia and Somaliland and, under the Health Partnership Scheme, provide training, advice and grant support to health worker training projects involving more than 200 UK and overseas hospitals, universities and professional associations across 29 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

We achieve our goals by working through collaborative partnerships with individuals and institutions and provide a flexible framework for people to work together effectively and responsively for the longer term. Health Partnerships are a unique model for delivering effective overseas projects that improve health care in the communities that need it most.

While the primary focus of our work is to bring lasting improvements to health care in developing countries, our approach results in mutual benefits for both partners. We believe that international volunteering is a valuable asset to the UK health service and continually work to ensure volunteering achieves recognition of the contribution it is making to the quality of health services overseas and in the UK.

Our Values:

Responsive, not prescriptive: Projects and programmes respond to locally identified needs and are consistent with overseas country health policies and systems.

Innovative: We aim to be innovative and flexible in our approach, whilst building on recognised good practice.

Respect and reciprocity: We believe in the mutual benefits of working in partnership and the potential for learning together.

Sustainable: We aspire to high quality, demonstrably effective work that facilitates sustainable change. 

THET supports over 200 health partnerships around the world, and manages two country programmes in Somaliland and Zambia.