From CMF news - winter 2009 - the wider horizon [p06]
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Forty people came to Johnson House in November for a workshop on medical mission and international healthcare. It was a great day with a real mixture of participants – some with no experience of working abroad, others with years of service behind them, but all with a desire to learn what's happening beyond UK shores and to explore different ways of serving our neighbours where the needs are great but the resources are few. We plan to take this workshop around the country next year, visiting regional groups and medical schools. Look out for a 'Who is my Neighbour?' event in your area, or contact email@example.com if you would like to host a meeting.
A brand new medical and dental fellowship has begun in Rwanda, joining the 100 or so organisations around the world connected to ICMDA. Members of CMDF Australia had been in contact with Christian medical students in Rwanda for over a year, and had helped them get started. CMF Kenya will be giving ongoing support and CMF UK is supplying literature – how wonderful to be part of a worldwide family! The student chairman wrote to thank us for the copies of Nucleus and Triple Helix we sent:
All the members are happy for the gift and thank you so much. I am sure that will help us as Christian medical students – future doctors. We thank so much the Lord that helped us to start CMDF Rwanda, and now the fellowship is growing day and night.
David Morley, who died in July, was a Christian doctor who transformed the health care of children in the developing world. This work began in a mission hospital in Nigeria where he showed that infant mortality could be cut by over 80% – not by introducing modern medicine and building hospitals, but by education and use of local resources. He developed the 'Road to Health' chart which is used for growth monitoring all over the world.
In 1965 he founded TALC: Teaching Aids at Low Cost. This brilliant organisation distributes teaching materials to healthcare professionals in more than 100 countries – a visit to www.talcuk.org is a must for anyone going to work in a developing country. Professor Andrew Tomkins said of him: 'In applying simple technologies to save children's lives, he's probably the person who's made the biggest contribution in the past 50 years'.
Travelling Light is a new pocket-sized collection of Bible meditations, designed to be a light to travel by on the exciting journey of an elective in a developing country. Covering a two-month period, the daily readings have been written by students, doctors and other health professionals. If you know a student about to set off on an elective, why not give them a copy for their rucksack and help them shine the light of God's word on the experiences, encounters and challenges they will meet.
With a £4.95 RRP there is a launch offer at £3.95 including P&P, and discounts for bulk. See more and buy online at www.cmf.org.uk/bookstore
CMF member Keith Thomson has been awarded the prestigious 'Pask Certificate' by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland for his work with Mercy Ships over the past 18 years. Mercy Ships is a global charity which operates hospital ships serving developing countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, primarily by providing surgical care. Keith has done 22 trips to ten African countries and given training to local staff – at a recent course in Liberia, he taught over 75% of the country's anaesthetic workforce! Keith writes:
Working on board as part of an international team of volunteer medics is hugely exciting but the most rewarding aspect is seeing the patients after surgery and realising that their lives have literally changed overnight. Their surgeries aren't just operations – they give them back the hope and a chance to lead a normal life. Often our patients are outcasts in their communities because of their physical deformities but after surgery they are once again accepted into their families. My experiences with Mercy Ships have been the most rewarding of my life and I would encourage everyone who is considering volunteering to look at Mercy Ships.