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Welcome to our newsletter for October 2014!


Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill.

This is a journey and in the manner of discovery, we evolve and we learn. We hope that this update will convey something of AMECA's ongoing journey in Malawi and of the many people who donate time, funds, support and moreover, their generosity of spirit.

Read on and be inspired...............



http://www.ameca.org.uk/sites/default/files/users/Ameca%20donation%20form%20v.2.pdf
 
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AMECA 2014 Challenge Fundraising Groups in Malawi

September 2014 saw our very first challenge fundraising groups come to Malawi. The first group was comprised of students from Nottingham Medical School and Southampton Nursing School. The follow up group was comprised of those of slightly more senior years, but enduringly young at heart!

The superb ground logistics were provided by Secret Compass; our effusive gratitude goes to Greg, Kerry and Jimmy for their hard work, tireless support and faultless organization.

Climbing Mount Mulanje, undertaking onerous renovations to primary school classrooms in Chilaweni Village, donating much-needed medical and school equipment, visiting The AMECA Wing and district hospitals and lifting themselves way out of their comfort zones, it is difficult to adequately acknowledge the fantastic contribution made by all the participants. Raising around £26,000 for AMECA with the figures still rising, these extraordinary people have provided a catalyst for all that is to follow at Chilaweni............. See the photo albums on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ameca/189723837738595



The AMECA Trust wishes to express deepest gratitude to everyone involved; special thanks to Sylvia Avgherinos and staff at Joshua Orphan & Community Care http://joshuainmalawi.org.uk/ for their support, liaison and inspiration. This is the start of a new and exciting phase for us all. We thank you and we thank those who made it possible through their donations and their selfless generosity.

If you would like to lift yourself out of the ordinary, join us next year; http://secretcompass.com/ameca-student-fundraising-challenge/#!summary

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Sustainable support for healthcare in Malawi

As most of you are aware, AMECA was planning to build a primary healthcare clinic within Nsanje District in the Lower Shire region of Malawi.

Based on our objectives of maximizing healthcare outcomes through truly sustainable pathways, a decision has been taken to continue to support Nsanje District through surgical training and ongoing donations of medical equipment, but to site the primary healthcare clinic in the remote and equally deprived communities of Chilaweni.

Dwelling within ten villages located in remote hills of South Lunzu region, Blantyre District, the Chilaweni area communities have no current access to any healthcare facilities. The villages lie outside the catchment area of any government clinic and, moreover, healthcare access is made inaccessible by both road distances and by mountainous terrain.

In recognition of the need to work in partnership with others, together with the ability to sustain long term oversight of its projects, AMECA intends to nurture their growing relationship with these communities and build on the very positive foundations created by the Joshua projects in this region.



AMECA believes that the ability to provide a facility which is sustainable over the long term is best achieved by working with and through the local Department of Health. Moreover, AMECA feels that by removing the burden of long-term onerous running costs for the charity, we are better able to target our funding where it will have maximum impact and greater flexibility.

The community Traditional Authority has already written to The Department of Lands, giving their assent for the use of Customary Lands by The Balntyre Department of Health for a healthcare clinic. AMECA intend to fund the construction of a simple outpatient facility; we are planning this first phase carefully, to allow flexibility in the delivery of primary healthcare. Initial services will include maternal and child health services and dental care. These facilities will be expanded in the future as funds permit and as community needs determine.

Over the long term, we look forward, not only to being able to work with Joshua on holistic village projects, but also to providing facilities for visiting healthcare and other volunteers.


 


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Ongoing Surgical Training for Clinical Officers in Malawi


In May 2014, four teams of surgeons and nurses, led by Consultant surgeon Paul Thomas, visited district hospitals in southern Malawi, to provide surgical teaching and training for clinical officers. The teams also brought much-needed surgical and general medical equipment to the hospitals during this highly successful and positive visit, not withstanding the many challenges faced by traveling to remote locations. Many thanks go to David Melville, Peter Wilson, Tom and Alison Loosemore, Adrian Kasparian and Jessica Mok, together with Maria Boutaba's great support from the UK. AMECA was immensely proud that Jessica, one of AMECA's first student supporters at Nottingham, could come along as a now qualified doctor and surgical trainee! A rather fitting endorsement of the importance of nurturing and encouraging our students and healthcare trainees.

As founder of LAST, (Links in Africa for Surgical Training); Paul provides the clinical lead for these visits in addition to his role as Trustee and Clinical Director of AMECA in the UK and AMECA's not for Profit entity in Malawi. Paul undertook a further visit to Malawi during October 2014, visiting the more remote central district hospitals of Dedza and Nkhotakota together with Kamuzu Central Hospital  in Lilongwe.

Further surgical visits are currently being planned for the spring of 2015.

For more on the work of LAST, visit http://www.last-surgery.org.uk/
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Walking The Nile

As we reported earlier this year, Lev Wood, Alex's longstanding friend at Nottingham University and fellow Army colleague, set off in December 2013 on a 12-month, 4,250-mile journey down the Nile through Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, North Sudan and Egypt.

Most of you will know by now that Lev successfully completed his epic walk across six countries and five thousand kilometers reaching the Egyptian village of Rosetta, located at the Nile Delta at the end of August, 2014.

Lev is hoping to raise a substantial amount for his nominated charities, which include AMECA. We are really grateful to Lev for his support and I am sure you would wish him many congratulations on the successful completion of this epic journey. Most of you will also know that Lev is also the co-founder of Secret Compass, which organizes AMECA's challenge fundraising expeditions in Malawi.

The expedition has been filmed for a four-part Channel 4 series to be broadcast in January 2015. For more information, go to http://www.channel4.com/programmes/walking-the-nile

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WalkingTheNile

I am sure you will forgive me Lev for this photo............. together with Alex around ten years ago on one of their more crazy student adventures............. Alex would be so very proud of you.

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