The ESTHER initiative

Since 2002 the ESTHER initiative has supported 350 institutional health partnerships in 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The European ESTHER alliance (Ensemble pour une solidarité thérapeutique hospitalière en réseau) is a network of European countries who invest in institutional health partnerships with institutions in low- and middle income countries. Activities include twinning of hospitals, universities, laboratories and research institutions.

The 13 European ESTHER alliance member countries have different ways of administering funding for institutional health partnerships, but commit to an ESTHER charter in their funded activities. Each project is tailored by the co-operating clinicians and other experts on both sides.

The ESTHER Alliance focuses on:

a. Improving health services to deliver effective and safe quality care.
b. Strengthening health workforce through capacity building interventions.
c. Improving health information systems to increase health system performance, guide policy makers in priority setting and support health professionals for quality patient care and follow up.
d. Strengthening drug procurement system management to ensure equitable and affordable access for all to essential medical products.
e. Supporting health authorities in health policy design, implementation and evaluation.

(from the 2012 Rome generic charter)

ESTHER in Norway

In Norway, Norec (FK Norway) is the organisation that administers funding for institutional health partnerships under the ESTHER initiative.

The main activity of Norec (FK Norway) is to support the exchange of employees and members between businesses and organisations in Norway, Africa and Asia. Through innovative collaboration, partners share knowledge, learn from each other, and build stronger bonds of cooperation.

Norec (FK Norway) is exclusively financed through the Norwegian National Budget, forms part of the governmental Norwegian developmental policy and is directly subordinated the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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