What we do
Sahlgrenska International Care represents Region Västra Götaland in international collaborations concerning healthcare. To actively promote international development aid is one of our main tasks. Every day we work hard to engage healthcare units in West Sweden in donating to countries in need. Everything we do is in compliance with Swedish law, Sweden’s Policy for Global Development and Region Västra Götaland’s international policy.
Whether a donation consists of medical equipment or know-how it must be relevant, efficient, feasible and sustainable throughout the whole process from donor to recipient. Before it leaves our region, the donated medical equipment is always functional and in good condition.
Today the emphasis is on basic medical materials such as hospital beds, instruments and disability assistive devices. Also technical equipment such as autoclaves, incubators, respirators, surveillance systems, CTGs, ultrasound machines and dental chairs are a priority, as well as consumables and different types of medical textiles. All the equipment is packed according to a system of complete sets so that it is ready and fully functional as soon as it reaches the recipient.
An innovative aid system
With one foot in traditional development activities and the other in exploring the emerging sphere of new development assistance, we find ourselves in a unique position. In our partnerships we strive to create added value by not only providing high-quality medical equipment donations, but also by availing Region Västra Götaland’s expertise and resources in the process. We believe that formalized cooperation between the public and the non-governmental sector can lead to effective results, both locally and globally. It is a viable way for non-traditional actors in international development to contribute strategic input alongside established development bodies.
We believe that to be successful, it is necessary to have a long-term perspective and put the recipient at the centre of all activities. The need, usability and sustainability of each intervention, such as the donation of medical equipment, must be ascertained, as well as the benefit for the targeted population. This is why we also play an active role in the work of our partners through dialogue, advice and follow-up, where we encourage transparency and accuracy through robust evidence gathering.
Within our region we are continuously working on quality assurance in all phases, from collecting the goods to ensuring that the material is put to use where it is supposed to, and to enhancing efficiency and results. Sahlgrenska International Care has well-established processes for the follow-up, reporting and evaluation of each action. In this, we maintain an ongoing dialogue with our partners and the various stakeholders in the recipient country, and we also make frequent field visits. In order for us to do this, an important part of our daily activities is to inform people at hospitals, healthcare centres and public dental care centres that we exist and what our mission is. Widespread awareness of this operation is a critical factor for our ability to succeed.
Sharing best practice nationally and internationally
Interest in international material aid is increasing among regions in Sweden. In addition to the overall goal to reduce poverty by improving healthcare systems in vulnerable countries, these activities contribute to a sustainable and responsible environmental system both here and far away. Region Västra Götaland was the first in Sweden to establish this system, and Sahlgrenska International Care is now actively supporting other regions in developing similar systems. By doing so, we create a national platform for discussion.
But there is only so much we can do in our own country. Cross-border collaboration is what can make a truly significant impact in the long run. This is why Sahlgrenska International Care plays an active part in the European network. The purpose of the network is to bring together representatives from a number of European organizations working on the optimization of medical device donation, implementation and training in the field of international aid.