About Us

ESTHER Ireland

ESTHER Ireland works to foster international partnerships between Irish health institutions and organisations, and their counterparts overseas, to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes. Read more about the different stages of partnerships and about the type of programmes carried out below.

ESTHER Ireland’s work is supported by the generous assistance of Irish Aid.


For a brief overview, please view the video below, featuring the Chair of ESTHER Ireland, Dr. David Weakliam.


ESTHER Ireland supports the initial stages of partnership formation through the Small Grants Programme. For a more in-depth look at the benefits of partnerships and key lessons learned from the ESTHER Ireland Small Grants Programme, please download our case studies report “Partnerships Panorama: The ESTHER Ireland Small Grants – What have we learned?”

Connections Between Ireland and the World

ESTHER Ireland uses the twinning model to foster effective north-south and south-south partnerships that can build capacity of the health workforce and health institutions.

Through ESTHER Ireland, the HSE aims to facilitate Irish hospitals and other health institutions to engage in partnerships with similar institutions in less developed countries.

This provides a mechanism for health staff to contribute to health needs in low income countries while continuing to be based in Ireland. ESTHER Ireland is part of the European ESTHER Alliance, which was established in 2002 initially to improve hospital care for patients with HIV, but is now taking a much broader approach.

Today the EEA works to strengthen health systems and particularly human resources so as to tackle HIV and other major diseases and to improve maternal and child health in Africa, Asia and Latin-America.


The first partnership in ESTHER Ireland was the Collaboration Programme between the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RSCI) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) which joined in December 2012. This was followed in 2013 by the Cork University Maternity Hospital + Omdurman Maternity Hospital (Sudan) partnership. Then, in 2015, two new partnerships were approved by ESTHER Ireland: the Mayo General Hospital + Londiani District Hospital (Kenya) partnership, and the Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin + Muhimbili National Hospital (Tanzania) partnership.

Most recently, the Health Service Executive + Ministry of Health of Mozambique partnership has become an approved ESTHER Ireland partnership in 2017, along with a partnership between Palms GP Surgery, Gorey, Wexford and Mzuzu Central Hospital and St Johns Hospital in Mzuzu, Malawi.

For more information about ESTHER Ireland’s partnerships, please see our partnerships page.

HSE Global Health & ESTHER Ireland Survey

In 2012, the HSE’s Global Health Programme undertook an interest-based survey of health service personnel to quantify their experience and interest in linking with developing world organisations. The survey specifically requested responses on how Irish healthcare institutions could create effective and sustainable partnerships with similar ones in the developing world. A total of 1,028 persons completed the web-based survey. Read the findings here.