We’re 106 days from the beginning of the 2020s. What do you want this new decade to be? What values do you want it to represent?
Around the turn of the century I remember reading an article suggesting that the 2020s might be the first decade in human history when a person’s life chances would be influenced more strongly by their personal qualities and skills than by their place of birth. It was a bold claim, and as we count down the days to the beginning of the new decade it looks like an optimistic one.
Approximately 80% of people in developing countries rely on local sources for health care. This care is often provided at clinics that are chronically under-resourced by people who, for all their admirable efforts, are under-trained. No ambulances. No emergency services. Long walks, sometimes for days, to reach a clinic or hospital, and sometimes no money to pay for treatment when you get there.
There are people and organisations whose determination to move us towards global equality of opportunity stand out. Step forward Tim Beacon and Medical Aid International.
Founded in 2010, Medical Aid provides healthcare equipment and support to organisations of all sizes in low to middle income countries. Tim and his team manage procurement, transportation, installation, training and after-care, giving a vital boost to healthcare provision across the developing world. Donations of medical and technical equipment by first-world organisations are always welcome; many clinical and IT products that are discarded and replaced in European or American workplaces are perfectly good and usable. Medical Aid put the usable to good use and help shine a light in dark corners. Equipment alone can’t solve problems of course, and suitable professional training is key to Medical Aid’s global strategy. Tim Beacon has devised an online educational programme for Biomedical Engineers, imparting the skills they need to deliver care and support to communities across the globe. The programme is set to be translated from English into multiple languages over the coming months, and its ambition and value been recognised in high places. On October 8th the programme launch will be celebrated at the House of Commons.
The success of programmes like this depends on the ingenuity and determination of the people behind them and the generosity of organisations willing to donate. Medical Aid have no shortage of ingenuity or determination, and any organisations donating to their cause will have the satisfaction of making a positive difference to communities that need it the most.
We’re 106 days from the beginning of the 2020s. What do you want this new decade to be? What values do you want it to represent? If Medical Aid have any say in the matter it will be inclusive, communicative and caring. We find that admirable, and we’re proud to support them.
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