Partnership Update

Health System Strengthening for all

The first ESTHER Switzerland newsletter!

As I prepared this editorial for the first ESTHER Switzerland newsletter, I debated whether to avoid the terms “pandemic” and “Covid-19”. Wouldn’t it be nice to move on and write about other important topics? But it’s undeniable that this past year the Corona virus has affected ESTHER Switzerland and the partnerships that we’re supporting.

We’re all aware of the difficulties and challenges in the current situation, so instead, I’d like to focus on the positive effects this pandemic has had. Institutional health partnerships have become more important than ever, as they stand for compassion, mutual learning and solidarity. They have gained momentum, for example, through the close collaboration between the ESTHER Alliance and the WHO Twinning Partnerships for Improvement Initiative.

The pandemic has led to creative modifications of the standard mode of collaboration—for example, replacing missions by virtual learning meetings, which potentially will have a more lasting effect. Perhaps the Covid-19 situation will also lead to a power shift within partnerships, which may prove to be more sustainable than previous practice.

The ESTHER Switzerland partnership with Madagascar – featured in this newsletter –shows this in an exemplary way. You can also read about two other important ESTHER partnerships, one with Tanzania and a start-up in Uzbekistan.

While Covid-19 put constraints on personal meetings, it also gave rise to a number of successful webinars organized between ESTHER Switzerland, the ESTHER Alliance, WHO and THET.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who responded to our survey about your interest in such webinars. 67% of those who responded are interested in webinars for about two hours every two months for both, networking and learning. The topics selected by most respondents are: Evaluation of partnerships, mutual/bidirectional learning as well as leadership and sustainability of IHPs. I am therefore pleased to announce the Health Partnership Perspectives series, which will start on April 30th and then take place the last Friday of every second month. The first topic will be “Evaluating Health Partnerships”. There will be further webinars organized together with WHO’s Twinning Partnership Initiative. Check the events section to find out more.

Finally, we would like to call your attention to the database of institutional partnerships of Swiss Hospitals with partners in LMICs, which – with your help – we are now establishing. The knowledge base of all known partnerships will enable cooperation and exchange between different initiatives, building a network of Swiss hospitals that are internationally active. This will create opportunities for mutual learning and sharing experiences, which will not only benefit the LMIC, but may also facilitate reverse innovation and bring benefits to the Swiss health system.

I very much hope you’ll enjoy reading about our work. Get in touch with me if you have questions or comments! Also, please don’t hesitate to share this newsletter with friends who may be interested in learning about ESTHER Switzerland and institutional health partnerships.

We’re delighted to share ESTHER Switzerland’s very first newsletter with you! We hope to be in touch with you regularly.



Adapting an ESTHER partnership in response to COVID-19

A Swiss-Malagasy partnership

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The thread that led to a beautiful friendship: a Swiss–Uzbek partnership in medicine

A Swiss–Uzbek partnership

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Fighting childhood malnutrition: How an ESTHER partnership builds on past experience

A Swiss-Tanzanian partnership

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Quote of the day

«Institutional health partnerships can be a channel for bidirectional technical exchange with direct impact on populations served by health facilities across the world. The partnership community can lead through example, to allow compassion to flow between health workers across continents at a time when the world needs it, more than ever.»

Dr Shams B. Syed
Unit Head, Quality of Care, World Health Organization

Read his blog here

News & Events

News – March 26th 2021

ESTHER launches survey of Swiss health partnerships

How many Swiss hospitals are engaged with hospitals and clinics in low- and middle-income countries? Switzerland has a strong tradition of international engagement in health care, surely best known through the work of Henri Dunant and the founding of the Red Cross (now International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement).

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Event – April 30th 2021

Health Partnerships Webinar Series

The ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships has launched a new webinar series that focuses on the learning drawn from the Institutional Health Partnership model. Every webinar will host speakers from diverse geographical and professional backgrounds to exchange expertise and knowledge on health partnerships’ evidence and case studies.

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News – March 28th 2021

New online community platform: Pulse!

Our ESTHER Alliance partner in the UK, the Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET) is pleased to announce the launch of Pulse, an initiative which creates an online space for health partnerships to connect, create and collaborate with one another. Pulse will enable the sharing of learning, project development and furthering a sense of community amongst Health Partnerships and volunteers. Pulse helps to create a world where health workers are empowered to grow and lead health systems strengthening worldwide. Our community supports, protects, motivates and equips the global health workforce to deliver quality health care. To join the platform today please click here.

Event – June 3rd 2021

International Conference on Laparoscopic surgery using spinal anesthesia in gynecology during Covid-19 period

The ESTHER Switzerland Start-up partnership between the University and Cantonal Hospital of Fribourg (Switzerland) and the Urgench branch of Tashkent Medical Academy (Uzbekistan) are inviting to a conference on Laparoscopic surgery using spinal anesthesia in gynecology during Covid-19 period.

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ESTHER Switzerland coordinates healthcare partnerships between health institutions in Switzerland and in low- and middle-income countries in the belief that long-term international collaboration enables sharing of best practices and mutual learning.

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