December 2016

Recent trip to Maputo a great success, see interim report under MOZAMBIQUE Read More


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Dr. Keith's Column

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APRIL 2016 (03/04/2016)

Had a great trip with my church team to the Gambia in February (see report), the local birds were particularly colourful. We met a remarkable woman called Ada Cham who made a good income from her cookery courses which she used to help fund microloans for 180 women. Also that month I went deer stalking on the beautiful Scottish island of Islay with family and friends including my 36 week pregnant daughter who managed 3 full days up the hill but could not shoot as her bump was too large to lie prone. Her baby boy was born on March 13th.  The next ACTs (African Conference Teams) trip is to Freetown for a week in April to do a three day SAFE course with a 14 strong team led once again by Liz from Southampton. 

March will also be sadly remembered across Europe for the terrorist attacks in Brussels which will have ruined so many lives – it is difficult to see that this type of incident will not remain a risk for the foreseeable future. One must also not forget those also killed and injured in attacks in Africa in the cities of Bamako (Mali), Ougadougou (Burkina Fasso) and Grand Bassam (Cote D’Ivoire). What sort of World are our children and grandchildren being born into? Things have gone crazy -  one cannot also forget the plight of so many thousands of migrants/refugees escaping from the Middle East, Afghanistan, parts of Africa in attempt to find a better and safer life in Europe.

Update on STARFISH ENTERPRIZE in Uganda:

The four jaw tumour cases (‘Jaw 4’  - see articles under STARFISH ENTERPRIZE)) were all seen on February the 8th at Corsu hospital by surgeon Dr George Galiwango.  16 year old Joseph had his operation on 23rd March. 27 year old Henry will have surgery on April 6th and the remaining two have been given dates in May. Anyone wishing to contribute to the costs of surgery should contact me via this website.

January 2016 (07/01/2016)

What will 2016 bring? To be pessimistic it is difficult to see any end to the migration crisis and international terrorism spilling over from the terrible conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, etc.

On a positive note I have organised successful ACTs (African Conference Teams) trips in Benin, Uganda and the Ivory Coast during the past three months. On each trip I had the privilege of being part of an excellent and fun team of highly motivated colleagues.  On November 14th  the Mercy Ships Float in the Lord Mayor of London's Show went really well although due to the extended BBC news covering the aftermath of the terror attack Paris a scheduled live BBC interview with Niki Tucker from Canada was shelved. I rescue the 1kg abandoned prem baby Niki from an Island near Abidjan in 1991.

 After attending the North Thames Anaesthesia Meeting (NTAM) in Tignes at the end of January I am going to the Gambia in February for a week with a team from All Souls Church in Ascot and then to Freetown, Sierra Leone  with an ACTs team in April. We are also considering trips to Mozambique and Cameroon towards the end of the year. 

 In July 2014 I met 35 year old  Specioza in Hoima, Uganda during a church service. She had an obvious tumour of her mandible. Six months later she had a successful resection and reconstruction with a fibula free flap at Corsu Hospital near Entebbe. My Hoima anaesthetic nurse friend Eunice has now found 4 other people the town with a similar jaw problem who we are hoping to send to Corsu for surgery sometime during 2016. I am setting up a new charity called ‘STARFISH ENTERPRIZE’ to fundraise for their operations. My next blog will give an update on the situation once Specioza has taken them to Corsu for assessment.


September 2015 (19/09/2015)

September 2015

Enjoying the Portuguese sunshine on the patio of our little place in the Algarve, I cannot help thinking of the plight of the desperate refugees from Syria and other countries trying to flee conflict for a better life in Europe. Last night I was talking to an Egyptian acquaintance, resident in Portugal, who told me that he has put his name down to take two Syrian girls into his family. As a Muslim and an Arab speaker he said that it will be relatively easy.

So what have I been up to over the past 6 months?                         April – annual ski trip with my family to the Elite Alpine Lodge in Saas Fee. Fantastic welcome as always over the past 25 years from Sybille and her family. Most memorable event was the day trip to Zermatt with Sybille as our guide.   Attended 2 day meeting at the RSM on the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery  - remarkable initiative. Saw Miss Saigon at a theatre in London.                                                                                     May  --  Walking trips: Cateran trail in Scotland with friend John and the mid- section of the Coast to Coast with 6  friends – see ‘Rob Roy ad other challenges’ article  under                                                                        June – I was very honoured by being given a Lifetime Achievement Award in Basingstoke (See newspaper articles) .  Fishing trip to the R. Avon  on Speyside – caught two seatrout  then successfully completed  Rob Roy Challenge with three friends.                                                                                       July   -- fishing on the Border Esk at Langholm – caught another 3 seatrout including one of about 5lb at night which had to be returned.  Shot at Bisley 73.5 in the Daily Telegraph and 100.6 in the Queens 1 were by best performances.                                                     August --Another fishing trip to Avon and Spey – caught 3 seatrout and one grilse then off to the USA for a Mercy Ships board meeting in Denver preceded by a fantastic fishing trip to the North Platte river in Wyoming.  This had amazing hard fighting wild rainbow trout. September  --  In Portugal having some holiday and planning  3 ACTs trips to Africa before the end of the year – to Cotonou (Benin), Hoima (Uganda) and Abidjan (Cote D’Ivoire) .   Last Sunday I gave a well- received update on ‘Mercy Ships in Madagascar’  at the International Evangelical Church of the Algarve to about 120 people at the morning service. On November 14th I am organising a float for Mercy Ships in the Lord Mayor’s Show in London.  This starts at 11am and will be on BBC 1 .                                                                                Next Year  --  Looking forward  to 2016 -- I am already planning trips to Banjul (The Gambia) with a team from All Souls  church in Ascot and also an ACTs trip to Freetown (Sierra Leone) now the ebola crisis is diminishing.

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