El Salvador

Maternal & Neonatal Health

Our work in El Salvador started with a visit in 2008 by staff from the Rosie Hospital to run a national three-day neonatal ultrasound workshop. This area was of particular concern for our partners as maternal mortality was high (68 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births compared to 12 in the UK in the year 2001).

The partnership has centred around national congresses which attract up to 1,500 staff from maternity and neonatal care hospitals across El Salvador, and have been combined with reciprocal working visits by El Salvadorian clinical staff to the UK. The congresses provide specialised practical training for healthcare workers in how to manage and treat obstetric and neonatal emergencies.

Through our partnerships between a multi-disciplinary team from CUH’s Rosie Maternity Hospital and the Ministry of Health, the National Maternity Hospital, and the National Children’s Hospital in San Salvador, we have helped introduce and establish:

  • 24/7 specialist cover in all national maternity hospitals
  • skills drills
  • a two-year programme for registrars in intensive care and gynaecology
  • a ‘Code Red’ system
  • guidelines on managing the treatment for patients suffering from postpartum haemorrhage
  • midwifery and multi-disciplinary team working
  • a new sub-specialty course in Intensive Care in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

In 2017 we carried out a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis on this longstanding partnership, which indicated that for every £1 invested we delivered approximately £3 of social value.

What is a health partnership?

A long-term link between health institutions in high and low/middle-income countries, health partnerships facilitate the flow of ideas and expertise between the different healthcare systems to strengthen services and improve patient outcomes. Health partnerships achieve this through training programmes, sharing and learning, based on the healthcare needs of the overseas partner.

What the project (in El Salvador) was trying to achieve is unlike any other charitable project I know. It has an ambitious aim, that is to reshape health care of El Salvador.

Chin Swain, Midwife CUH, volunteer in El Salvador

Our Health Partnerships

"Collaboration and dialogue with medical professionals overseas enables a broader perspective of the needs of less well-off populations, fosters understanding, particularly when treating migrants here in the UK, and leads to a greater appreciation of the NHS… Second hand descriptions are no substitute for being there.”

Peter Gough GP, Cambridge Global Health Partnerships Advisory Committee member and volunteer