September 15, 2008

Vital Support for Doctor in Africa Disease Mission

By Graeme Hetherington

A DOCTOR is working with HIV and TB patients in the remote heart of Africa with the support of a North-East charity.

Dr Paul Williams is trying to raise the money for an ambulance to work out of the hospital he helps run in one of the remotest region?s of Uganda, and is being helped by Everyday Language Solutions (ELS), based in Thornaby, near Stockton.

The charity has a long history of working with Dr Williams, dating from when he practised at the Arrival Medical Centre, on Teesdale Park. ELS provided interpreters for his staff, who were giving refugees and asylumseekers health checks on their arrival on Teesside.

He left two years ago and now helps to run a hospital on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, providing an HIV and TB treatment service, but his work is hampered by the in hospitable terrain.

Dr Williams has staged fundraising events aimed at finding [pounds]26,000 to buy and convert a four-wheel drive vehicle into an ambulance ?an appeal boosted by ELS, which has given [pounds]3,000.

Wendy Lillie, of ELS, said: ?Often the people he used to see here were deeply traumatised.We had the staff and expertise to help the medical staff by providing interpreters.

?We fully support him in the work he is doing in Ugandaand we are happy to contribute. ?

Hilda Burungi, of the Bwindi Community Hospital, thanked ELS for its donation.

She said: ?The HIV treatment programme currently has 600 clients. The new vehicle will enable the HIV team to reach more people by visiting more villages, including those that have been inaccessible due to lack of transport. ?

The work carried out by the hospital is largely centred on the Batwa pygmy tribe, one of the most deprived groups in Uganda.

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