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Non Governmental Organisations

There are currently over 40,000 internationally operating non governmental organisations (NGOs). Therefore the list below is not exhaustive by any means but offers information and links to the main organisations who are involved in international health.


Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger is an international, non-governmental, non-religious, non-profit making organisation with programmes in 43 different countries. Its vocation is to save live, especially those of malnourished children, and to work with vulnerable populations to preserve and resource their livelihoods with dignity.

For over 25 years, Action Against Hunger has been at the forefront of the fight against hunger and malnutrition worldwide. Our teams do their utmost day after day to ensure that people are given access to the most basic human rights - the right to food. Action against Hunger teams provide for people's immediate needs when food is scarce, and provide families with the tools, seeds and support they need to build a sustainable future.

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Action Aid

ActionAid is a unique partnership of people who are fighting for a world without poverty, in which every person can exercise their right to a life of dignity. It works with poor and marginalised people to help eradicate poverty by overcoming the injustice and inequity that cause it.

Its strategic priorities are:

    • women's rights
    • the right to education
    • the right to food
    • the right to human security in conflict and emergencies
    • the right to life and dignity in the face of HIV and AIDS
    • the right to just and democratic governance.

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Alma Mata Global Health Network 

Alma Mata is a network of healthcare professionals interested in global health. It provides regular updates on global health news, events, education and careers and runs its own events including careers fairs, lectures and conferences.  

It also aims to facilitate the development of clearer pathways for postgraduate education and careers.

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Anaesthesia that is safe : e-SAFE

e-SAFE has been developed and funded by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) as an educational tool to support the education, training and continuing professional development of those who are responsible for delivering safe anaesthesia, critical care and pain medicine in resource poor environments.

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Bond is the UK membership body for organisations working in international development or supporting those that do through funding, research, training and other services.

Established in 1993 on the initiative of 61 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in international development, it has around 400 members ranging from large agencies with a world-wide presence to smaller, specialist organisations working in certain regions or with specific groups of people.

It promotes, supports, represents and on occasion leads the work and interests of UK international development organisations, united by a common goal to eradicate global poverty.

It works to influence governments and policy-makers, develop the skills of people in the sector, build organisational capacity and effectiveness and provide opportunities to exchange information, knowledge and expertise

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BUILD (Building Understanding through International Links for Development) is a network of national and international organisations to realise the potential of people to bring peace, prosperity and justice through twinning partnerships between communities across the globe.

Build believes that international community-based partnerships make a real difference to the lives and development of people in those communities and ultimately to world peace.

Many of BUILD's members are directly involved in School, Health, Local Authority, Diaspora, Faith, Youth and Community partnerships. BUILD supports its membership in developing these partnerships and encourages the widening of the links to involve the broader community for sustainability and social cohesion.

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Child Family Health International

Child Family Health International (CFHI) is an NGO that specialises in placing health science students on global health education programs in five different countries spread over twenty different sites. They support local healthcare workers in a socially responsible and sustainable way with a priority to community engagement and local integrity. So far over 5000 students have enrolled from over 35 countries.

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Disability and Mental Health : MAITS

MAITS (Multi-Agency International Training and Support) is an international disability charity which improves access to healthcare and education services by providing capacity-building to health and education professionals working in the mainstream and disability sectors in under-resourced countries.

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Drugs for Neglected Diseases

In 2003, seven organisations from around the world joined forces to establish Drugs for Neglected Disease (DND) : five public sector institutions - the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, the Indian Council for Medical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia and France's Pasteur Institute; one humanitarian organisation, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF); and one international research organisation, the UNDP / World Bank/WHO's Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), which acts as a permanent observer to the initiative.

For 30 years, MSF has directly witnessed the human cost of the lack of drugs for neglected diseases and has raised its voice against this inequity; the Pasteur Institute invests heavily in biological research on infectious diseases; TDR works on 10 neglected infectious diseases that affect poor and marginalised populations; the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation dedicates its resources to medical R&D; the Indian Council for Medical Research sponsors and coordinates medical research in India; and the Malaysian Ministry of Health is dedicated to building partnerships for health. The DNDi became a legal entity in July 2003.

The initiative fosters collaboration both amongst developing countries and between developing and developed countries. Its design is a blend of centralised management to give it a clear project-specific focus, and decentralised operations that mimic modern drug companies.

DNDi does not conduct research and scientific work to develop drugs itself. Instead, it capitalises on existing, fragmented R&D capacity, especially in the developing world, and complements it with additional expertise as needed. This "virtual organisation" model helps cut costs.

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Engineeers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders UK sets out to lead a movement for change to embed global responsibility into the heart of engineering. It educates the engineers of tomorrow, addresses engineering inequality around the world, helps to arrangement placements and carries out research. 

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Equipment : Medical Aid International 

Medical Aid International is a social enterprise that aims to support healthcare in low resource environments by supplying new and appropriately recycled medical equipment, accessories, training and biomedical support taylor made for specific situations. It provides a beginning to end service with long term support. 

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Health Poverty Action

Health Poverty Action works with some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, often in very difficult environments.  It works to enable these communities to achieve both immediate and long-term improvements to their health, promoting this as one of their fundamental human rights. At the same time we campaign for the changes in policies and practices needed to create and sustain good health among the world's poorest people.

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Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation

Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation (MJP) was founded in 2003 for the conservation of Cambodia's endangered Cardamon mountains. Since then they have extended the field projects to include; health, education, rural planning, agriculture and micro-enterprise. They are working towards achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals. The Improving Global Health through Leadership Development programme of the Leadership Academy in Wessex has a link with the organisation. 

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Malaria Consortium

Malaria Consortium is an organisation dedicated to improving delivery of prevention and treatment to combat malaria and other communicable diseases in Africa and Asia.

We work with:

    • communities,
    • health systems,
    • government and non-government agencies,
    • academic institutions and
    • local and international organisations,

to ensure good evidence supports delivery of effective services.

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MapAction delivers mapped information about what is happening on the ground, from data gathered at the disaster scene. It creates a 'shared operational picture', which is crucial for making informed decisions and delivering aid to the right place quickly. 

It is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the capacity to deploy a fully trained and equipped humanitarian mapping and information management team anywhere in the world, often within just hours.

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Medical Aid Films

Medical Aid Films provides grass-roots education through film. This is used to train skilled health practitioners, educate community healthworkers and raise awareness in the community. 



Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centres for malnourished children and offers mental health care. When needed, MSF also constructs wells, dispenses clean drinking water, and provides shelter materials like blankets and plastic sheeting.

Through longer-term programmes, MSF treats patients with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and HIV/AIDS and provides medical and psychological care to marginalised groups such as street children.

Founded by doctors and journalists in 1971, MSF is now a worldwide movement with sections in 19 countries and an international coordination office in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Medical Peace Work 

Medical Peace Work is an organisation that provides education about how war and human rights violations affect health, how health workers can make a contribution and speak out for the prevention of violence and the promotion of peace. It is involved with a network of similar organisations in Europe. It provides a free online course through a MOOC. 

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IHP (International Health Partners) is Europe's largest co-ordinator of donated medicines, providing a professional service to enable healthcare companies and aid agencies to support patients who cannot access the medicine they need. Their work include supplying a range of essential medicines in pre-packed kits (Doctors' Travel Packs). 

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Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships started out in 1978 after the purchase of a retired ocean liner which was converted into a floating hospital. The ship has 3 operating theatres, a 40 bed ward and a volunteer crew of 350. Since then their fleet has expanded and they have served in more than 150 ports in developing nations around the world.

Mercy Ships provide free surgery, medical care and works with local communities by training local staff and offering advice. Some of the services that they provide include, repairing obstetric fistula, dental surgery, repair of cleft lip and palate, removal of tumours and corrective surgery for congenital orthopaedic abnormalities.

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Merlin is an international health charity that was set up in 1993 by three friends who decided to create a specialist charity which responded to international disasters. Since 1993 they have worked in 39 countries and responded to disasters such as the Rwandan genocide, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haitian earthquake and the Myanmar cyclone.

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Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E was founded in 1987 with a goal of delivering medical supplies, equipment and services to developing countries around the world. Since it was set up it has delivered much needed medical relief to people in over 120 countries.

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RedR helps to rebuild people's lives by providing international aid workers with the skills they need to make a difference.

  • Build the skills of local people and communities in areas of disaster
  • Deliver expert training in the UK and in the field
  • Advise international relief and development organisations
  • Recruit humanitarian professionals who can respond to emergencies or take longer-term placements 
  • Provide online expertise to aid workers on assignment
  • Support a network of members who are vital to humanitarian work.

In the event of emergencies RedR will select and train engineers responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene promotion and brief aid workers before they travel to the region. It will also continue to build the skills of local people after the emergency has subsided and run security training directly in unstable regions. Its UK training courses are used year-round by relief and development professionals to improve their skills in a vast range of topics, including preparing for emergencies and camp management.

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The Tropical Health Education Trust (THET)

THET is committed to improving access to and the quality of health services in developing countries. It believes that the most effective way of doing this is to work in partnership with those delivering and running health care, helping to strengthen and extend existing services.

It helps forge long term links between health institutions in developing countries and their counterparts in the UK. Partners identify priorities for strengthening their health services. It respond by linking them with a health institution in the UK that has the knowledge and skills to help them to address these priorities. Once the Link has been established it continues to provide advice and support, such as accessing funding, evaluation and networking, and it connects Links with Government strategy.

In some countries its work extends even further. In Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Somaliland and Uganda it works with partners to find new ways of meeting health needs - helping modify ways of working, extend existing services or developing ways of delivering health services. Most, but not all, of these initiatives develop from Links. Guided by its partners, it often focuses on meeting the needs of people who have least access to services, for example; those in rural areas or those affected by neglected health conditions.

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UK Med 

UK Med is a UK charity that provides emergency medical aid to countries that have experienced some kind of disaster e.g. sudden onset disaster, disease outbreak, conflict. Agreements are reached with employing organisations to release an individual at short notice. Training is provided 


Virtual Doctors

Virtual Doctors uses smart phones to support clinical medical officers in Zambia. Support is currently provided by UK volunteer doctors responding to structured questions about patients being seen in rural area. 

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Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

VSO was voted top international development charity in the International Aid and Development category at the Charity Awards 2004 for its work in promoting innovative approaches to globalising volunteering.

Its approach to volunteering has changed dramatically over the years. Its volunteers are no longer only school-leavers - today the average age of a volunteer is 38, the majority coming from skilled, professional backgrounds. Most placements are for two years, but can also be as short as one month. It is a leading development charity with almost 1,500 skilled professionals currently working in 34 countries. It responds to requests from governments and community organisations throughout Asia and Africa.

The volunteers aim to pass on their expertise to local people so that when they return home their skills remain. Volunteers can be aged between 18 and 75 years old and must have a formal qualification and some work experience. Regular postings are for two years and volunteers are provided with accommodation and a local level allowance as well as air fares and insurance.

It is actively recruiting volunteers all the time. The range of jobs is vast, and includes small business advisors, teachers, social workers, health professionals, management consultants, marine biologists, accountants and farmers.

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WISH (Worldwide Initiatives for Sustainable Health Care in Africa)

WISH 4 AFRICA's mission is to deliver sustainable healthcare projects to African communities by providing healthcare establishments and healthcare workers with the support they need to be efficient, independent and economically viable.

Our vision is to provide affordable and good quality healthcare that is geographically and economically relevant to the average African.

To achieve its mission and vision, it has focused primarily on three main projects:

    • Healthcare Micro-finance Fund
    • Pharmacy Fund
    • Community Healthcare Provider Network

The goals of these projects are:

    • Increase access of healthcare professionals to micro-financing and funding at affordable terms
    • Empower healthcare professionals through capacity-building activities and provision of technical and managerial assistance
    • Reduce the menace of fake drugs by increasing access of community pharmacists to generic drugs and other essential medicines
    • Reduce the barriers of entry for doctors and pharmacists wishing to practice within their communities
    • Increase access of the poor and low income groups to affordable and good quality healthcare.


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