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Training resources for developing countries

Applications have opened to a BMA fund which supports the training of healthcare staff in developing countries.

The Information Fund provides healthcare information and education materials to health-focused organisations in developing countries.

Medical libraries, healthcare institutions and non-government organisations are among those to apply for resources available via the fund run by the BMA in association with the charity, TALC (Teaching Aids At Low-Cost).

BMA international committee chair Terry John said: ‘We know that thousands of people die needlessly every day, often because health workers do not know what to do or where to seek help.

‘The fund helps to support the training of healthcare staff with essential educational materials. We urge eligible organisations to apply as soon as possible.’

United Mission Hospital, Tansen, Nepal, was one of the 2014 recipients, and applied for books to top up its library with training resources on subjects such as tuberculosis, AIDS and leprosy.

It is an acute care hospital in the western hills of Nepal, which trains healthcare staff to provide care to under-served rural areas.


Christmas time

British GP Rachel Karrach, who now works in Tansen and made the application, said: ‘It felt a bit like Christmas opening the boxes [of books] and the people who passed through the library were very excited to see what we had.’

She added: ‘Thanks to everyone at BMA and TALC. It made me proud to be British and to say that the books had been sent by the BMA.’

Training institution Alpha Palliative Care in Kerala, India, also received donations through the fund last year.

It is a charitable organisation which provides free palliative care to patients with conditions including cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

The books are used to train doctors, nurses and physiotherapists in palliative care, and also lent to staff in peripheral centres and hospices.

Head of training at the centre Sunil Kumar said the books had already been an enormous help and brought a fresh approach to studies.

‘They have supplemented the few standard text books, introduced new information and enabled more students and staff access to the knowledge,’ he said.

Umaru Musa Yar’adu University Library, Katsina, Nigeria, (pictured above) also received books last year for its medical school library.

Applications to the fund close at 5pm on Friday 18 September, or when 100 applications have been reached.