On Wednesday 5th July 2023, BBC Radio Leicester marked 75 years of the National Health Service by speaking to the hospitals and other businesses that support the NHS. As part of this, Inter Care were invited to speak to Summaya Mughal on her show to highlight the partnership between the local charity and the NHS.
Claudia Domin, the Community and Events Fundraiser was interviewed on the lunchtime show and spoke about the charity’s mission, upcoming 50th Anniversary and current appeal, the 20ft Shipping Container Project
Highlights of the interview
Summaya says, “as we mark 75 years of the NHS today, I feel like the contribution to medicine abroad is largely around reducing the waste. Talk us through exactly how it works”.
Claudia explains, “We can often get a phone call from someone who was been supplied with a load of catheters that they don’t need anymore and they want to find a home for it. They ring us up and send it to us and then we put them on the containers. We also send many boxes of bandages and dressings and other basic supplies. These are sent through air freight. And that’s usually how it works”.
Summaya responds, “how’s everything going for this shipping container, that’s going to be distributed to seven health units in Sierra Leone. That sounds like quite an operation”.
Claudia answers, “It is. You should see our warehouse assistant doing all the boxes and the pallets is quite incredible how he does it. But we have about 50 volunteers on board and so they come into our warehouse. They help and do all the packing and the counting, getting all the things signed off for each hospital.
We’re also doing a one wish project [which started in 2021 as part of the Christmas Campaign], so each hospital have a wish that they can request so it can be a one-off piece of equipment that will make a big difference to their facilities. We’ve been sending O2 concentrators in the past. it could be phototherapy machines too and so some of this equipment are going on to this container as well. So a lot of heavy pieces on this one. As well as a lot of PPE as well.
And what is the demands like at the moment in terms of the things that the countries that you are supplying to need? What’s the stuff that they’re asking for?
A lot of them, they’re all kind of have individual needs. So you might say, well, hospitals want the same thing, but a lot of them are in rural areas. So I went to Tanzania last October to go to see ten of the health units that we support over there, which was incredible.
And you had some small dispensaries for what we would classes like our GP here and they just have nothing, not even paracetamol or anything.
But then you go to hospitals that are in up in the mountains, like near Kilimanjaro. They have some basic supplies, but then they have a lack of water and electricity and they’re having to try and deliver newborns in the night with no lights or anything. And so the supplies that they need is quite different.
So it varies from place to place, but I think the main thing is just basic supplies like medicines which we get from pharmaceutical companies, but everything else the public kind of gives us and we can send them dressings and things like that. But it’s all about stopping spreading infections as well. And that’s a major thing that they really come across and that they want to try and reduce is that spread of infection.