Spring 2019 Newsletter

Your March update: Springing into action

Lead Story


As of the start of 2019, the Virtual Doctors service is active in 80 sites across Zambia. The picture shows our Zambian team training new COs in Chirundu, Zambia.

We recorded our 2500th case in January and are fast approaching 3000. We also launched our service in neighbouring Malawi in December 2018, already with tangible results. More than 100 volunteer doctors are 'on call', with over 20 specialties including ophthalmology, dermatology and paediatrics, to name a few. If you would be interested in joining our team of volunteer doctors, please click here

Case from the Field

A 2-year old child was brought to Chongwe district general hospital in a critical condition. Jonathan, the clinical officer, on duty sent this history to our volunteer paediatric doctor. “A 2 and half year old boy was brought in by his mother after taking insecticide (dip tank poison) around 2pm today. The child is unconscious with a fast breathing pattern, unresponsive to pain with pupils that are fixed and dilated. An atropine infusion was started, a gastric lavage (stomach washout) with normal saline performed."
Jonathan then asked for further advice to manage the case. The paediatric doctor recommended several further measures.
Jonathan's response highlights the challenges he faces: "Thank you very much for the above information. Learning is taking place... We do not have some of the drugs. Drugs used include atropine diazepam and fluids. Am based at a hospital setting, unfortunately the doctors are overwhelmed. We see the patient before the doctors. So we had to do all we can in the absence of the doctor with the help of anaesthetist to maintain the airway. The child is stable but ill looking. The prognosis is poor...."
However, given the CO's initiative and speedy request for help, and the volunteer doctor's prompt response, against the odds, the child survived and recovered,
See more examples of other recent cases here.


Fundraising Update

We have been fortunate enough to be a chosen charity for the second year running in Lancing College's Charities' Term initiative.
Heads House ran a series of events during Charities' week to raise money for the Virtual Doctors. These included a student debate,
"This House believes that homework should be banned", and an amazing-looking cake sale!
We are very grateful to the students and staff at Lancing College for their support and generosity! Visit our website for more ideas on how to raise funds to sustain and expand our valuable service

Calling All Runners

On October 19th, we are entering a team of runners in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London. We have a few spaces left so dust off your spikes and join us. We are asking our runners to raise a minimum of £300 sponsorship. T&Cs apply. Contact Jo to register your interest.

About: the Virtual Doctors provides sophisticated, yet easy to use bespoke telemedicine app and smartphones with internet access. This empowers health workers in rural Africa by enabling them to send electronic patient files to volunteer doctors for diagnosis and treatment advice. See more about what we do.

We rely on donations to help us save lives in rural Zambia.

Find out how to donate here

Copyright © 2019 the Virtual Doctors, All rights reserved.
the Virtual Doctors Newsletter

Ros Bird