Botswana: CHOP and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is proud to partner with the University of Pennsylvania, the Botswana Ministry of Health, and the University of Botswana. Together we seek to provide quality pediatric clinical care, education to the next generation of healthcare workers, and research that both discovers new knowledge and informs evidence-based practice to help transform global health systems.

In 2001, then-president of Botswana Festus Mogae appealed before the United Nations for help with a national health crisis: an HIV/AIDS epidemic that affected over 10 percent of Botswana’s population. Among those organizations responding to the call were the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, the Gates Foundation, and the United States government through the creation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The result was the creation of a comprehensive HIV care program for adults in Botswana. The program expanded soon after to include pediatric care.

The Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) program has grown significantly, and now includes a multinational, multi-skilled staff of 90 working in Botswana. BUP shares the expertise of a world-class university with our partners in Botswana to build capacity and excellence in clinical care, education, and research.

  • Clinical: At Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, the BUP team works in specialty areas including pediatrics, medicine, dermatology and OB-GYN to provide the best quality care for patients, with expertise in the health needs of the population. The BUP clinical experts are accustomed to seeing complicated, critically ill, co-morbid and multi-drug resistant cases. At times the team uses mHealth to bring the expertise of radiology, dermatology, pathology and other specialists based in the U.S. and elsewhere to enhance patient care in Botswana.
  • Education: A significant partner in this collaboration is the University of Botswana (UB), the country’s largest university. Our program dedicates itself to helping to train the next generation of medical professionals. CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania have helped UB open the country’s first medical school and pediatric residency program. We are deeply committed to and heavily involved in training Batswana medical students, pediatric residents, junior pediatric faculty, as well as other health care workers and trainees. Residents from CHOP also have the opportunity to do a month-long rotation in Botswana; with 5-10 residents participating in this program each year. To learn more about this program, click here.
  • Research: This was the last of the three components to be added, after practitioners realized that the unique situations facing Botswana required targeted research in country. Projects are funded by a variety of sources including the NIH, CDC/PEPFAR, Foundations, CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Center for AIDS Research, Perelman School of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania). Research projects have informed national, regional and international guidelines and have produced more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles to date.

Learn more about our partner organizations: