Nurses, midwives and IT professionals are going to be given the chance to spend time in Malawi helping to boost maternal mortality in the developing county.
VSO is going to work with the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of midwives and Malawian Initiative for National Development (MIND) to offer the initiative.
Those with a strong background in teaching nursing and midwifery, such as continuous professional development facilitators and organisational development advisors, will go to Malawi and share their skills with local health workers over the next three years to help them to improve.
The new Health Partnership Scheme will be funded by the Department for International Development and managed by Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET).
It is hoped that improved health services management and nurse training will help to bring down its high maternal mortality rate of 510 deaths per 100,000 births.
Currently, many mothers and children are dying of preventable conditions in under-staffed and ill-equipped hospitals.
Jon Rosser, interim director of VSO UK, said: “In addition to making a difference to people’s lives and having a rewarding personal experience, we are working closely with the royal colleges to ensure that while volunteering, health professionals also develop their career skills.”