Doctors who have undertaken projects in developing countries have urged colleagues to apply to a BMA fund that opened for applications this week.
The BMA Humanitarian Fund provides small grants for NHS staff to undertake overseas projects that provide health benefits to local populations.
The fund provides grants to cover costs such as travel and accommodation, which are often the most expensive parts of the trip.
Doctors who secured funding from the BMA last year have been describing the benefits to developing countries and the NHS.
Winchester GP Sally Louden went to South Sudan last October as part of a link project between her local hospitals and the Yei township.
She helped to improve local healthcare workers’ knowledge of family planning and the services they provide.
Easy to apply
Dr Louden said she could not have gone without the grant from the fund.
‘I would really encourage others to apply because it allows you to do something that you may not otherwise have the opportunity to do,’ Dr Louden said.
She added: ‘The lovely thing about the fund is that it’s very straightforward to apply for.’
Teesside retired public health consultant Ian Holtby also received a grant last year as part of a team that ran a hand hygiene project in Malawi.
He said the visit demonstrated that when staff were able to take ownership of a problem it could be overcome.
BMA international committee chair Terry John said: ‘After hearing the diverse and inspiring stories from those doctors who have worked in developing countries, it is clear that the fund is a vital resource, of great benefit to both those NHS staff embarking on the projects and the health workers and patients who receive their support.
‘It is incredibly inspiring to hear of colleagues showing great drive, courage and enthusiasm to improve the lives of patients in developing countries while building on their knowledge and skills to enhance the care they provide for their patients back home.’
Applications close at 5pm on April 25 and applicants will be notified by June 6.
Apply for a grant and hear more about past projects