Doctors Day in May 2021 Update

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you so much for your response to this years Doctors Day in May. So far we have raised over $60,000 which as you know goes a very long way in providing health services in the developing world.

Real figures are very difficult to obtain in Africa but major depletion of health workers is and will continue to be inevitable. Just look at the poster below and imagine the situation in countries where PPE is so hard to come by and even testing for Covid is extremely patchy at best.

And what about the patients?

A recent Lancet study found that among 3,077 critically ill Covid patients admitted to African hospitals, 48.2 percent died within 30 days, compared with a global average of 31.5 percent.

A big part of the problem is the lack of training of health workers- something that TTD particularly focuses on.

Further in the Lancet report: 

Almost 16 percent of hospitals had ECMO, but it was offered to less than 1 percent of patients. Similarly, although 68 percent of the sites had access to dialysis to treat kidney failure, which is common in severe Covid cases, only 10 percent of the critically ill patients received it. Half the patients who died were never given oxygen, but the authors of the study said they had little data to explain why.

A Lancet editorial by experts not involved in the study said, “It is common in Africa to have expensive equipment that is non-functional due to poor maintenance or lack of skilled human resources.” Some 40 percent of the medical equipment in Africa was out of service, according to a 2017 report by the Tropical Health and Education Trust, the editorial said. Another factor is that few doctors in Africa have the training in pulmonary and critical care that is considered essential in treating Covid patients. 

May is almost over. 

If you have not already done so, please consider joining with your colleagues who have already contributed and thereby greatly supporting health worker colleagues.       

Regards to all

Rob Baume

On behalf of the Directors of Twice the Doctor

Doctors Day In May 2021

Dear colleagues and supporters,

“Doctors Day in May” is now upon us. It is a day when hundreds of your colleagues in Australia have occasionally or regularly made a substantial contribution to train and equip medical workers in Africa. I am hoping you might make a contribution this year.

Here is a bit of an update as to what is going on in Africa, that vast continent of 1.3 billion people of which 500 million live in extreme poverty( <$1.90 per day). According to WHO fewer than 2,000 working ventilators have to serve hundreds of millions of people in public hospitals across 41 African countries, (compared with > 170,000 in the US).

The COVID pandemic has made a worldwide midwife shortage worse with midwifery services being disrupted and midwives being deployed to other health services.

A study in The Lancet in December concluded that alleviating the midwife shortage could avert roughly two-thirds of maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths, saving 4.3 million lives a year.

One of our partners, the Fred Hollows Foundation, has been deployed (at government request) to help control COVID in Africa by disseminating information and basic resources for preventing spread. Their organisation has vast experience in this type of activity from many years of treating trachoma – a program that has had long term support from TTD.

I am delighted to inform you that Andrew Browning, Medical Director of one of our partners, The Barbara May Foundation, has put out a book. I have personally met Andrew on several occasions and find him a truly inspiring individual and a hell of a nice guy. You will no doubt find his many years as a surgeon in Africa a fascinating read.

So if you feel you can make a contribution, please do so and bear in mind that it’s fully tax deductible.                                    

Regards to all

Rob Baume

On behalf of the Directors of Twice the Doctor