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Help for Africa takes centre stage

A major fundraising evening will mark the start of a new joint effort in South Wales to help people in need of healthcare in Africa.  NHS staff at ABM together with staff and students at Swansea University’s School of Medicine are forming a new joint fundraising group called ‘ABM Africa Health Links’.

While vital charity work has been carried out by groups and individuals from the NHS and University for a number of years, a new group is now being formed to combine resources, expertise, ideas and fundraising efforts.

The first ABM Africa Health Links fundraising event is taking place on Wednesday 14th October 2009 at the Towers Hotel. It will start at 7pm and includes a three-course meal, coffee and disco. Dress code is evening wear.

And just days after he is due to appear alongside performers such as Barbara Windsor, Jim Davidson and Ronnie Corbett at the London Palladium, legendary Welsh comedian Wyn Calvin MBE will provide laughter as the celebrity guest speaker.

Tickets costing £25 are available to staff and the general public.

Trust Chair Win Griffiths said:

“The voluntary work of our staff overseas has been a real shining light for many years and something we are always keen to highlight to the public.

“We’ve been putting together plans for some time to bring this work together so we can make better use of resources and raise more money to help this work.

“This is our first major fundraising event and we want to bring in as much money as possible to help our staff develop their projects abroad.”

Ongoing projects include the Swansea-Gambia Link that has developed training in diabetes, pathology and clinical audit. The Gambia-Swansea Vision 2020 Eye Link is working to establish a dedicated paediatric clinic to help reduce the incidence of blindness and poor sight among children in The Gambia.

The Gambia 20.03.2009

Staff regularly visit Sierra Leone to support nurse training to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates at the Ola During Children’s Hospital and Princess Christian Maternity Hospital.

And regular exchange visits provide valuable experience of radically different health care settings for both African and Swansea medical students.

Steve Allen, Professor of Paediatrics and International Health at Swansea University and Consultant Paediatrician at ABM, commented:

“Our Links in West Africa have already actively engaged many of our staff and students. In keeping with the aims of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Wales for Africa initiative, they allow us to contribute directly to improving the health of people living in some of the world’s poorest countries. In particular, our links are vital in providing ‘hands-on’ experience in international health early in the careers of our medical trainees.”

For further information and tickets for the Africa Health Links event contact Dr David Abankwa (Morriston) 01792 703426 David.Abankwa@ABM-tr.wales.nhs.uk. Becky Gammon (Princess of Wales/Neath Port Talbot) 01656 752397 Becky.Gammon@ABM-tr.wales.nhs.uk. Paul Batcup (Trust HQ) 01639 683331 paul.batcup@abm-tr.wales.nhs.uk. Liz Williams (Singleton) ext. 5374 lizV.williams@swansea-tr.wales.nhs.uk.    

Cheques should be made payable to: ABMU NHS Trust (write ‘Africa Health Links’ on back of cheque).

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