This partnership was established to support haematology colleagues in Latin America, Africa and Asia through short-term, carefully organised placements of BSH volunteers.

2019: HVO launches a new haematology project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is pleased to announce the launch of a new haematology project in partnership with Calmette Hospital and the National Cancer Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Working with local staff, HVO volunteers will support the development and advancement of patient and operational protocols and procedures at Calmette Hospital and the National Cancer Center.

Additionally, volunteers will improve the knowledge and skills of pediatric and adult haematologists, oncologists, nurses and other personnel at Calmette Hospital and the National Cancer Center.

More information:

Can you really make any meaningful impact in two weeks?

A crucial part of the scheme is careful matching and careful planning.

Local coordinators in host haematology departments inform Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) of their training and development needs. Examples of these include:

  • the development of a new treatment protocol
  • to quality assure a new laboratory assay
  • to improve local transfusion services

HVO will look at their pool of potential volunteers to find someone with the right skills and experience. They will then work with the volunteer and the receiving institution to carefully plan the placement to maximise its usefulness.

The other benefit of placements is to set up longer-term connections and partnerships. Around half of the volunteers arrange repeat placements.

Who can volunteer for the scheme?

We are looking for a mixture of volunteers: haematology subspecialists and generalists, senior nurses, laboratory staff, and doctors.

To be eligible to be a volunteer, you'll need to:

  • Be able to volunteer for at least two weeks. Longer placements are possible, but two weeks is standard.
  • Be (or become) a BSH member. You will also need to become an HVO member, and BSH will pay for your HVO membership if you're accepted into this scheme.
  • Hold full FRCPath (if you are a doctor).
Patient consultation in Uganda (Ana Oton, MD).
Patient consultation in Uganda (Ana Oton, MD).

Who are HVO, and what is their role?

HVO are an organisation experienced in arranging placements such as these in many specialities.

They have worked with the American Society of Haematology (ASH) for many years and arranged 21 haematology placements in 2018. They match suitable volunteers and placements and prepare and debrief the volunteers.

They currently place haematology volunteers in Cambodia, Peru, Tanzania and Uganda.

I am interested in volunteering – what do I do next?

Please email the BSH-HVO Partnership task force at [email protected] to register your interest.

After we have had initial communication with you to find out your skills and experience, we will put forward eligible volunteers to HVO. They will then ask you to provide further information and make a formal application to volunteer. Once accepted, they will then look to match you to a suitable placement.

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