Providing Education for People from LMICs

Commonwealth Scholarships


The Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme is run by the British Council and aimed at students from across the Commonwealth who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. A variety of types of award are available.


The scheme is open to citizens or permanent residents of a Commonwealth country. Eligiblility still applies if someone is a refugee or British protected person. 


Health Books International (formerly Teaching Aids at Low Cost (TALC))


Health Books International provides books, downloads, training materials and equipment on a not-for-profit basis to support education and training in health care. Materials are specially written for use in low income settings and for people working in challenging settings. 




MedicineAfrica helps organisations educate and train in low resource settings and has experience in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Palestine, Zimbabwe and Somaliland. 


It advises organisations on how they can best approach new projects and partnerships and help avoid costly mistakes by choosing technologies inappropriate for their users. It helps to produce project plans, and assist in funding and writing grants. 


Multi-agency International Training and Support (MAITS)


MAITS exists to empower educational and health professionals to enhance and develop the service they provide to people with disabilities in resource-poor settings through sharing knowledge and practice.  


NextGenU is a learning portal invented to help democratize education in 2001. It aims to educate and improve the capacity of the health workforce. The learning platform provides competency-based courses that are cost-free, advertisement-free, barrier-free, and carbon-free. Learners from every country and through 314 universities have accessed courses for free.  


Courses span from undergraduate-level pre-health sciences, nursing, and community health worker training through medical and public health graduate training, medical residency programs, and continuing medical education. 

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More on Working Abroad


Funding Sources

There are many sources of funding available from a variety of different organisations; these include charities, professional medical bodies and government funded organisations.   British Charities   The British Charities website provides a guide to charities in the UK, some of which can be approached for funding support.   BMA Humanitarian Fund   The Fund aims to support health professionals in undertaking humanitarian work and is funded jointly by the BMA, Royal College of Nursing, and the Department of Health (England).   Grants of up to £3000 are available to individual projects to cover incidental costs, such as travel expenses and accommodation. Proposed projects should offer clear health benefits to the local population and must be sustainable. The project must involve at least one current NHS employee.   Individuals interested in applying to the Humanitarian Fund, should contact the BMA's International department on or on 020 7383 6133 or 020 7383 6793, or download the application form from the BMA website.   BMA Information Fund   The BMA Information Fund is run in association with Health Books International (operated by Practical Action Publishing, the publishing arm of the charity Practical Action). HBI sources, produces and distributes practical and accessible health information and educational materials designed for use in low-resource settings.   The materials provided by the fund are clearly written, illustrated and relevant to the many health workers worldwide who operate with limited access to electricity and reliable internet connections, sophisticated equipment or medicines.   Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)   The UK Governement is a source of funding for some types of work and a Funding Finder Tool has been set up by the FCDO to help potential applicants find Official Development Assistance funding opportunities that exist across all UK Governement departments.    The Health Partnership Scheme is an allocation to support the development of Health Partnerships between UK organisations and partners abroad. The Tropical Health Education Trust (see below) administers this allocation.    Hub Cymru Wales    Hub Cymru Wales collates information from various sources about funding opportunities that might be of use for people working in global health. It keeps interested people informed of these through its newsletter.    Medical Elective Funding   The BMA has an excellent directory of sources of funding which medical students can apply to for elective grants.   Overseas Surgical Fellowship   The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, in partnership with the British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd, are offering Fellowships to sponsor surgeons wishing to work in a developing country, primarily in the least developed countries, on a short-term basis. The purpose of the Fellowships is to provide training and support for overseas medical schools in the development of their postgraduate training programmes and, thereby, establishing links with these centres.   The principles of the Overseas Surgical Fellowships are to establish links with surgical centres in developing countries. These links are to provide the opportunity for teaching and postgraduate training of surgeons overseas and, where appropriate, to encourage the exchange of surgeons. In order to allow at least five Fellowships each year, a maximum grant of £2000 will be awarded to each successful applicant.   South West International Development Network   The South West International Development Network periodically advertises funding opportunities that are relevent for both service and academic work in Low and Middle Income Countries.    Tropical Health Education Trust (THET)   THET manages the Government's Health Partnership Scheme to support institutions and professionals in partnerships with low-income countries, to improve health outcomes by sharing skills and capacity building. More information about the scheme is available on its website.  

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Safety, Insurance and Pensions

Safety and Health    It is important to become aware of the health hazards of the particular country where you will be. The chances of having a road traffic accident, for example, might be much higher than contracting malaria. Other factors, such as political instability or the chance of natural disaster, should also be taken into account.    Sources of advice    Foreign Travel Advice is the Government's advice about travelling to individual countries.    "Vacation Disaster Preparation Safety Guide" provides a wide range of information that might be useful.  Anyone likely to travel in a high Covid risk area might also find the "Loveholidays" website useful. It provides information about what is happening in various countries and links to other useful websties.    Immunisations : Advice and vaccinations are available through your local general practice.    InterHealth in London provides a service for individuals before, during and after working abroad.    Insurance : GoCompare website provides useful guidance about the travel insurance that different companies offer. It is important to be very clear on the detail of what is and what is not covered by the insurance you choose.     Professional Registration and Indemnity    Registration : If volunteering involves carrying out professional duties, then the individual needs to be registered to practice in the country they are visiting. Seek advice from your professional body on what you need to do.     Professional Indemnity : You will also need to seek the advice about professional indemnity should anything go wrong whilst practising clinically.    Pensions   Important for individuals who volunteer to work abroad is the protection of continuity of pension contributions whilst absent overseas. It is important to know your own position.    The NHS organisation for which you are working or the organisation for which you will be working for when abroad should be able to advise. More general advice on volunteers rights and expenses can be found from the Department of Work and Pensions.        

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Training to Work Abroad (Pre-Departure Training)

Training to work abroad    The following are examples of resources that help prepare people to work abroad.    Disaster Management Course (Bournemouth University)    The International Disaster Management Course at Bournemouth is a two week course is designed for people with existing or anticipated responsibilities for disaster management. Run by the Disaster Management Centre at Bournemouth University it covers rapid and slow onset natural disasters, human made disasters and complex emergencies.   Emergency Humanitarian Assistance    The Emergency Humanitarian Assistance course is online and for professional development. It is run by the University of Manchester and provides an understanding of the principles of good practice in emergency humanitarian assistance and its place in health care development.   International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC)   INTRAC is a not-for-profit organisation that builds the skills and knowledge of civil society to be more effective in addressing poverty and inequality. It provides training, research,    RedR UK   RedR UK works around the world providing practical, up-to-date training programmes that are delivered by experienced humanitarians. It trains thousands of people each year covering a very wide range of topics - everything from providing emergency shelter to staying safe in the field.   Security Training and Safeguarding   Safer Edge runs courses on Hostile Environment Awareness, Security Management, International Travel Security, Women's Security, Crisis Management.    Travel Aware Campaign   The Travel Aware Campaign is a government initiative to help any from the UK who is travelling abroad to know about the general issues related to their travel and also issues specific to the country they are visiting.    Specialist Medical Areas   Anaesthetics    The Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics based at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, runs one and five day courses in anaesthetics for people planning to work in developing countries.   e-SAFE (Safer Anaesthesia from Education) is a bespoke resource developed for anaesthetists in resource limited areas. It has been put together by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and e-Learing for Healthcare with support from the Oxford University Press.   Child Health   Child Health in Developing Countries : The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health runs a practical short course for paediatricians interested in global child health or who intend to work overseas.    Disabilities   MAITS (Multi-agency International Training and Support) exists to empower educational and health professionals to enhance and develop the services they provide to people with disabilities in resource-poor settings through sharing knowledge and practice.   Medical Peace Work   Medical Peace Work provides free online courses that deal with the role and professional responsibility of health workers in violence prevention and sustainable peace.  

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