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Minister Costello announces Ireland to join the European ESTHER Alliance

European Union, Press Releases, Europe, 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.

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: