Exciting news – I’ve just joined the board of trustees of the Virtual Doctors, a charity that uses telemedicine to support HCPs and patients in rural Zambia and Malawi. I will be helping them explore collaboration opportunities. Read on to find out what led Huw Jones to found the charity and how the Virtual Doctors helps and how you can perhaps help the Virtual Doctors.Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
This update that I am sharing with you is a highlight of my week, indeed of 2021.
“It is a great honour to be joining the Virtual Doctors. Being in a team that is changing healthcare delivery in under-served communities is incredibly inspiring to me. In some ways it is a dream come true from my student days. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve those who need it most, not as a clinician as I once imagined, but using all the other tools I have accumulated over the course of my career.”
The Virtual Doctors is a UK charity that is changing the face of healthcare in remote regions in Zambia and Malawi using telemedicine.
I met the Virtual Doctor Team when mentoring two of the team at a healthcare conference in Basel about 3 years ago. We were looking at how to expand their service to generate some income in order to help expand their operations.
The Virtual Doctors was founded in 1998 by British safari guide Huw Jones who was driving through the Zambian bush when he came upon a trail of blood.
After following the trail for several miles, Huw caught up with a heavily pregnant woman slumped on a bicycle and her husband who was pedaling frantically in the relentless heat to get her to hospital 60km away.
Despite Huw’s best efforts, after such a huge loss of blood, the woman and her unborn baby died in the jeep on the way; but the concept for the Virtual Doctor service, which would use the internet to save lives in rural Africa, was born. Today, 200 NHS volunteers support 200 rural clinical officers in Africa with the virtual doctors telemedicine technology to give 4000 patients a year access to expanded healthcare.
If you are passionate about patients. healthcare, and access to medicine and are inspired by the Virtual Doctors mission then consider offering your expertise or financial support to help the charity go faster and deeper in Africa to improve the health of millions of people.
You can find the LinkedIn announcement from the charity here