Cycle challenge to bring Malawi staff to Fife

Alan McNulty, Sheffmed director and Dr David Walker, NHS Fife ENT Consultant (centre) with (from left) Gemma Rower, Sheffmed Consultant, Patricia Mackie, NHS Fife staff nurse and Paul Hawkins, NHS Fife chief executive
Alan McNulty, Sheffmed director and Dr David Walker, NHS Fife ENT Consultant (centre) with (from left) Gemma Rower, Sheffmed Consultant, Patricia Mackie, NHS Fife staff nurse and Paul Hawkins, NHS Fife chief executive

Fife clinicians have teamed up with a philanthropic cyclist from Sheffield to help improve medical care in one of the world’s most deprived countries.

In partnership with Sheffield-based medical manufacturing firm Sheffmed, fundraising efforts are underway to bring clinicians from Malawi to Fife to work alongside local specialists and gain vital experience.

Malawi has a population of around 17 million people; however the provision of ear, nose and throat (ENT) care is limited to three consultants who serve the entire population.

It is expected the first phase of the project, which will see two clinicians from Malawi spend a month training at the Victoria Hospital, will cost around £5,000.

In order to raise the funds, Alan McNulty, Sheffmed director, is cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats. Starting on July 18, he is nearing the end of his journey, and stopped in to the Vic on Tuesday to meet some of the staff.

He said: “The opportunity to give back is important to everyone at Sheffmed and this is only being made possible by the long term commitment of the ENT team in Fife.”

Earlier this year a surgeon and nurse from Victoria Hospital’s ENT team visited Malawi’s second-city, Blantyre, to see for themselves how care was provided to patients in the country. They identified that providing further specialist training to doctors and nurses would considerably improve the quality of care.

Dr David Walker, NHS Fife ENT Consultant, explained: “Nurses are difficult to retain in ENT in Malawi and our hope is to provide experience and training with the ultimate goal that they are able to keep their nursing staff in the ENT department and provide training to others.”

To donate to the cause, visit www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/ent-africa.