Established in 1984, we're now 40 years old.

HealthProm began as a Medical Exchange Programme between the United Kingdom and the former USSR, set up by doctors and allied professionals to promote health education and development through tours, conferences and exchange visits. 

With an early emphasis on public health, child psychiatry, paediatrics and obstetrics, it evolved to develop a more concentrated focus on Safe Motherhood and the prevention of maternal and neonatal mortality.   

Over subsequent years, HealthProm has expanded its scope to respond to additional needs in the region, thus working more broadly in the social care of vulnerable children and families and advocacy on their behalf.   

A brief history:


UK-USSR Medical Exchange Programme established, focusing on general public health, child psychiatry, paediatrics and obstetrics.


Name changed to HealthProm.


HealthProm advises the UK Government on the development of a health cooperation programme between the UK and Russia, aimed at supporting professional exchange on best practice, awareness raising and evidence-based training.

1994 - 2006   

HealthProm strengthens its existing focal areas, whilst simultaneously developing new expertise in the areas of social care for vulnerable children and children with disabilities.  It expands into several new countries.


  • Supporting child mental health services in Russia
  • Safe Motherhood training & capacity building for medical professionals in Azerbaijan, Russia and Uzbekistan
  • Addressing perinatal depression in Russia
  • Raising awareness of the impact of residential care on children in Russia and the creation of the film: The Road Home
  • Young Child Attachment Project to increase professional understanding and knowledge of children’s psycho-social needs in Russia
  • Social care and prevention of institutionalisation, with a focus on children with disabilities in Kazakhstan
  • Integrated approaches to working with disabled children and their families in rural areas of Siberia

2006 - 2016

HealthProm developed new programmes to support children with disabilities and develop community-based alternatives to institutional care of young children in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Work in maternal and child health continues with a programme to address maternal and under-5 mortality in Afghanistan.

HealthProm developed its work in promoting inclusive education for children with disabilities in Moldova and Russia.

New areas of focus were developed within the charity, including mobilising advocacy mechanisms for the rights and needs of children with disabilities through civil society engagement in Ukraine, and supporting palliative care services for children with severe disabilities and terminal conditions in Belarus.

2016 - 2020

In Afghanistan, HealthProm continued the project to improve maternal, newborn and child health by providing support for transportation to hospitals or medical facilities for women in labor and the distributing clean birth kits to pregnant women and young mothers.

HealthProm partnered with Belarusian Children’s Hospice to protect the rights of children with severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions by developing effective advocacy mechanisms for families in Belarus.

HealthProm launched a pilot project in Georgia in June 2019 to support early intervention services for children with disabilities in the Kvemo Kartli region.

In Maldova and Russia, HealthProm continued its work in increasing local capacity to support children with disabilities through inclusive education initiatives, including specialized training for professionals and schoolteachers.

HealthProm collaborated with UNICEF and UK-based organizations to develop nurturing models of alternative family care for institutionalized children in Tajikistan, focusing on enhancing community-based social services and tracking child development outcomes.

In Ukraine, HealthProm worked on mobilizing and the capacity of parents of children with disabilities to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities and promote early childhood intervention services.


The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 significantly impacted HealthProm’s operations in those regions.

In the midst of the turmoil of 2021–2022, HealthProm furthered the maternal and child health project in Afghanistan, focusing on antenatal care visits, birth plans, and transportation services. HealthProm also worked on improving access to the education for girls in the Kaldar district and supporting Afghan women refugees in the UK.

In response to the invasion of Ukraine, HealthProm launched the Ukraine Emergency Appeal to support families of children with disabilities by providing financial aid and to assist efforts on the ground to secure temporary shelter and humanitarian supplies for internally displaced persons.

HealthProm continued the project in Belarus to promote the rights of children with severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions and the project in Tajikistan to increase family and child support.

HealthProm expanded its operations in the UK to provide services for migrant and refugee women from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Afghanistan living in London. HealthProm connects migrant and refugee women to free language classes, information on education and healthcare, and mental health and employment services, with the aim to build a sustainable community support system.

To read more about our active projects, please see our pages on our UK-based work and international projects.

HealthProm is registered in England & Wales under charity number 1100459 at Voluntary Action Islington, 200A Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, London N1 9JP. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website. To learn more, read our privacy policy.
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