RCGP launches appeal to send GPs to developing countries

The RCGP plans to send UK GPs to help develop primary care services in Sierra Leone in a scheme set up as part of the college's 60th anniversary celebrations.

RCGP: 60 for 60 project will send UK GPs to Sierra Leone

The College hopes to raise £60,000 to send UK GPs to Africa, initially to Sierra Leone, to support local healthcare providers to deliver and teach effective primary care in their own communities.

The '60 for 60' project, launched at the RCGP conference in Glasgow today, will be run in conjunction with independent international development organisation VSO.

GPs selected to take part in the project will pass on their skills, knowledge and experience, and leave a lasting legacy with local communities.

Their specific aims will be to improve maternal and child health mortality rates through the provision of sustainable, community-based health promotion and training programmes.

RCGP president Dr Iona Heath said: ‘It’s fitting that this project should be launched at our annual conference, which this year has global general practice as its theme. We have developed a sound programme with VSO that will make a tangible difference in other parts of the world.

‘If all 46,000 members of the RCGP donated just £1.30 each, we would immediately reach our fundraising target of £60,000 and could push ahead with this important work.’

VSO country director for Sierra Leone Peter Nderitu said: ‘There is a desperate need to support primary healthcare workers in a number of sub-Saharan countries in Africa and this is just the start of what we hope will be a long-term programme of work with RCGP members who have a significant contribution to make.’

Donations can be made at: www.justgiving.com/RCGP60for60. Small donations of up to £10 can be texted: Enter RCGP60 and the amount £1, £2, £3, £5 or £10 (e.g. RCGP60 £10) to 70070.

GPs wishing to volunteer should email: international@rcgp.org.uk

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