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20 September 2018: Medical campsFour people sitting at a restaurant table

We had five visitors today, including two from the Rotary Club of Sahiwal Central. The photograph shows them with one of our members and a friend of theirs from Rochdale.

Two of our members gave presentations on medical camps in which they had taken part in Sierra Leone and Kazakhstan. One is a psychiatrist and the other is a gastroenterologist.

The medical camp in Sierra Leone took place in May at a township of some 3,600 people 90 miles from the capital, Freetown. The nearest hospital is 30 miles away and anyone needing surgery has to travel the 90 miles to Freetown. The medical camp was run for practically the whole of May but most of the volunteer medical and administrative staff stayed for just one week. Our two members were there as part of a team of ten, including four doctors, a physiotherapist and a nurse. On the first day the team treated just over 200 people but by the fifth day the total had reached well over 2,000.

The psychiatrist said that many of the people he saw just need straightforward counselling. He was able to help one mother who had two children and whose husband had died two months previously to cope with her situation.

In July they travelled to Kazakhstan as part of an international medical team. Kazakhstan was previously part of the Soviet Union and has a long northern border with Russia. They again went to an area normally remote from medical help.

However, it was not only medical help that was given. They showed us a picture of a crippled six-year old girl with her mother and grandmother. She was fitted with a suitably-sized wheelchair so that her mother did not have to carry her everywhere.