Fondation PH Suisse is a Swiss Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) dedicated to Partnerships in Health, providing health education and training for the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Dedicated to Partnerships in Health

Because “good health is a fundamental resource for social and economic development[1],” as well as an inalienable right, Foundation PH (FPH), a Swiss NGO, dedicated itself to building critical health knowledge and skills through health education and training of the primary care providers. In partnership with the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, FPH assisted local institutions to build their capacity and achieve sustainable improvements in the quality of basic and essential health services. Our projects changed the lifes of vulnerable populations.

For more information on our programmes, please click here                                                                                                                               

A Message from the Board

At the end of June we closed down our “Fondation Partnerships in Health” which had its offices in Céligny near Geneva.

We began to create and run projects in the mid nineties as a member of the worldwide Project HOPE organization. In 2005 we became a fully independent Swiss foundation.  Our main objective always was “to help others to help themselves” in the health care field. Capacity building and know-how transfer were key elements of our activities.

We ran our programs in a businesslike manner, under strict financial controls and professional audits and as a certified foundation, but also with our passion for making lasting health improvements in our partner countries. We were striving for top level content and innovative ideas, working with local and international partners to achieve best performance.

In the past ten years we ran programs for about CHF 22,5 million. Since our Foundation was not equipped with a proper foundation capital, all the funding of our activities had to be through fund raising and sponsoring contributions from public, corporate and private sources with a small staff in our Céligny office.

In the past few years, the environment of our activities has gone through many changes. Sponsors in general wish to see their contributions spent in the field only and no longer here in Switzerland. Therefore, our closing down has been planned for quite some time in order to transfer a maximum of our knowledge to local NGOs we had helped to build up in the main countries we have been active in. We have achieved this target, and our work of the past 15 years is now being carried on where it is most needed.

We are proud of our people and the great work they have been doing, full of personal devotion and passion. Our results and achievements are highly respected by those concerned, the people we have been able to help to gain a better life, the many young people who grew into a professional job in our organization and finally all the health care experts and authorities that worked with us on our many projects.

It is now the moment to say a big thank you to all who have carried our flag and to wish all those who will go on working and carrying our spirit into the future all the best of luck and success.

Friedrich Sauerländer                       Anthony Travis                    Bettina Schwethelm
Chairman                                            Treasurer                             Executive Director

To read our final Newsletter click here
For further information please contact Bettina Schwethelm at

An inservice training course for pediatric health care workers
Serbia, May 3-7, 2010

Too often, hospital experiences are more traumatic than necessary for children and their families. A new trainer course for pediatric hospital staff has been created to help children deal better with medical interventions and hospitalizations.

Partnerships in Health Switzerland and Serbia, together with staff from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Child Life Department in the United States, have launched a new initiative for health care workers to help them apply child development principles and effective psychosocial interventions in the care of their young patients. The foundations of this training course are the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child, and The European Child-friendly Health Care Initiative, which have affirmed that children have rights in the hospital sector that must be respected. This approach is not demanding in technical resources but requires a shift in attitudes and practices.

This first course in Serbia is based on a pilot training course conducted by FPH with the Johns Hopkins partners, at the Institute for Respiratory Diseases in Children, Kozle, Macedonia, and brings together the evidence and expertise developed by many colleagues and organizations.

Following their enthusiastic approval for such a training, the Ministry of Health Serbia sent out a hospital needs assessment to hospitals with pediatric beds and the first 5-day trainer course is being conducted in Serbia during May 2010 for participants from 8 major pediatric hospitals in Serbia and Macedonia.

This course will equip pediatric staff with the knowledge and skills to integrate child- and family-centered approaches into their daily practices and contribute to transforming their health care facilities into child- and family- centered institutions and reduce the potential psychological harm that can be caused by the hospital experience.

Child-centered Health Care inservice training course  Ekca, Serbia, May 2010

Patrice Brylske (left) and Erin Munn of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Child Life Department

The fifth Balkans Conference on
HIV and AIDS was held in Zagreb, Croatia
on March 25-26, 2010

Organised in partnership with UNDP Croatia, the fifth regional conference was held to share and celebrate the important work undertaken by its various partners during the Western Balkans HIV and AIDS programme. The Western Balkans HIV and AIDS programme, so generously supported by Sida, was implemented by FPH in 2003.

This year's Conference was attended by more than 160 participants, bringing together stakeholders from the region representing government, policy makers, civil society, international agencies, members from vulnerable populations, PLHIV, donors and advocates. The theme of the Conference  “A decade of responding to HIV in the Western Balkans Region: What have we learned and where are we going ?”  held another key objective, to promote regional exchange, networking and planning for the next decade, to increase collaboration to enhance HIV vulnerability reduction.

For more details of the Programme and to view the presentations, click here
To link to the UNDP Croatia website, click here

Left: Dr. Dunja Skoko Poljak, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare opens the Conference
Right: Alessandro Fracassetti, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Croatia

Left: Delegates from Albania, Centre: Mr. Robert Backlund, Sida welcoming the delegates,
Right: Dr. Bettina Schwethelm, FPH and Dr. Zlatko Čardaklija, National HIV/AIDS Coordinator, FBiH during Opening Panel discussions


Adolescent Reproductive Health

A Reproductive Health Programme for youth in rural Tajikistan, in partnership with Mission East, was initiated in 2009. It educates youth in Penjikent in reproductive health through peer counseling and school-based education and refers them to youth friendly reproductive health services. 

To read more click here

Visibility Board for villages and schools, depicting 8 trained peers




To read the most updated info about our activities and programmes, please click here










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This page was last updated on 09/08/2010