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Global health worker shortage prompts partnership action

A Cambridge partnership is taking action in the face of a predicted shortfall of 18 million health workers globally in the next decade.

Three nurses are around a bed care for a baby
CGHP has a longstanding partnership with El Salvador , which works toward improving outcomes across neonatal and maternal health. Pictured TOP are El Salvadorian nurses caring for a new-born baby.

Cambridge Global Health Partnerships is to step up the recruitment of volunteer clinicians, academics and others across the region to share their expertise in low and middle income countries.

The organisation, which recognises there are simply not enough clinicians being trained, outlines its ambitions in a far-reaching new document published today (Thursday 27 Feb) called CGHP Strategy 2020+.

CGHP is a global health charitable programme that works across NHS and academic institutions in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire inspiring and enabling people to improve healthcare globally. 

Operating under the umbrella of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, CGHP has established global partnerships across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, tackling everything from avoidable blindness to reducing hospital infections. 

The programme is focused on reciprocal learning and long-term sustainable change in global health. UK volunteers gain vital experience of working in unfamiliar conditions, leading teams, and discovering new skills that can be used back home.

They also make important new contacts CGHP also has an established support system for healthcare professionals volunteering outside of its core partnerships, supporting since its inception in 2007 more than 600 experts to deliver over 11,000 days of training, guidance and support in 64 countries.

A group of trainee nurses are surrounding a patient while a member of Cambridge Global Health Partnership demonstrates an element of care.
Former long-term volunteer and orthopaedic nurse Maggs Hamilton working alongside nurses and physiotherapists to deliver clinical skills training in Yangon, Myanmar.

The new strategy says: “The global shortage of health workers is estimated to reach 18 million by the year 2030, a burden that will be felt disproportionately in Africa and Asia. The quality of care and access to resources vary greatly between countries.

The way CGHP helps to address this is by offering technical assistance and capacity strengthening through a health partnership model. CGHP helps educate healthcare professionals and disseminate knowledge and expertise.

We will continue building our network to include more health care professionals, academics, development professionals, policy makers and students among many others.

“We will capitalise on the world-leading organisations and expertise available in Cambridge and the East of England region, and continue to engage with a broad array of global partners looking to strengthen their health systems.

“CGHP aims to be the global health hub within Cambridge, providing specialist experience in knowledge exchange, mutual learning, and multi-disciplinary health partnerships.”

In his foreword, chairman David Wherrett, director of workforce at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These enriching professional exchanges between our members and partners would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. CGHP relies on the individuals, trusts and foundations, institutions and corporate partners who believe in, and fund, our work.”

Anyone interested in supporting or learning more about CGHP and global health can find more information at