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MoS Costello Ireland European ESTHER Alliance

Health, News/feature, Ireland, 2012

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D. today announced Ireland is to join a European alliance to facilitate partnerships between Irish hospitals and institutions in the developing world.

The ESTHER Alliance is a network of Governments working in partnership to tackle major diseases and improve healthcare for women and children. It involves the twinning of European hospitals with institutions in developing countries to strengthen health care services by building expertise and sharing experience.
Speaking at the opening of a major international conference on the Global Health Workforce, organised jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Irish Forum for Global Health, Minister Costello said:

“Ireland – through the Health Service Executive and Irish Aid – has already developed a series of strategic partnerships between Irish hospitals and their counterparts in the developing world. Through Ireland’s membership of the European ESTHER Alliance, this excellent work can be improved upon through the sharing of experiences and lessons learned within a large network of partners.  
“Ireland will focus on partnerships in Africa and draw upon the extensive first-hand experience that many health workers in Ireland have gained from previous work throughout the continent. This new initiative will add to the extensive health and HIV and AIDS work that is presently supported by Irish Aid.

“This is a low-cost initiative which harnesses the skills and experience of health-workers to forge sustainable improvements in health institutions in the developing world. I welcome the cooperation of the Health Service Executive in this important project.”

Joining the ESTHER alliance, will allow Ireland to build upon existing partnerships involving Irish health care professionals and institutions. These include Cork University Hospital’s partnership with the Omdurman Maternity Hospital in Sudan, Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin Paediatric Exchange Programme with Hospital 2 in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern African.

Press Office
2 February 2012

For further information or to request an interview with Minister Costello, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 087-9099975.
Note to the Editor:

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • The ESTHER Alliance is a French acronym for ‘Together for a Networked Hospital Therapeutic Solidarity’. It was initiated in 2001 by the French Minister of Health and includes the following members: France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Norway and Switzerland.
  • The ESTHER Alliance is active in about 40 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Central and South America and S-E Asia with more than 100 projects being supported. The Alliance is committed to developing high quality partnerships and ESTHER projects are based on best development practice. 
  • In June 2010, Irish Aid and the Health Service Executive signed an agreement to work in partnership to improve the health of communities in the developing world by increasing cooperation between the two organisations.
  • Keynote speakers at the two day IFGH conference at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland will also include HSE Chief Executive Cathal Magee; Minister of Health for Lesotho Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng; Medical Council President Prof Kieran Murphy; Director of Policy Planning and Effectiveness in Irish Aid Dr Vincent O’Neill; and world renowned South African singer and UN Envoy for Africa Yvonne Chaka Chaka. For further information go to: http://www.globalhealth.ie/.
  • Minister Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng will give his keynote address on “Strengthening Human Resource capacity to deal with the HIV crisis” later this evening at the Irish Aid Fr Michael Kelly Lecture. For further information go to: http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/article.asp?article=1935.