Out To Africa is a charity linked to Mid Essex Hospitals. It aims to promote improvement in healthcare at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Lusaka, Zambia, through education. The projects identify areas of need and then link the departments in UTH with peers from Broomfield Hospital to arrange education programs. It is a multidisciplinary program involving doctors, nurses, physiotherapists as well as other support staff. Successful projects have included burns management, pain relief education, teaching of surgical techniques and arranging clinical fellowships so that staff can learn skills in centres of excellence in Broomfield to take back to Zambia. Many of the teachings are of simple interventions that have a huge impact on patients quality of life, for example giving adequate pain relief before dressing changes or teaching staff to mobilise burns patients and prevent contractions.
Most of you know I worked in Zambia as a consultant surgeon and have first hand experience of working in a resource poor environment so this is a project very close to my heart. I was thrilled to be able to return to Zambia last year to help to teach some of the surgical trainees and was hugely impressed by their dedication and enthusiasm.
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