Please join us for a fabulous night out that will help save lives... giving the Masaai a flying medical service!
You will be automatically included on the guest list for an event about the charity!!
Venue - Holborn Studios (49-50 Eagle Wharf Road, N1 7ED)
Your ticket includes:
The Brass Funkeys (http://brassfunkeys.com/)
A waterside meat and veggie BBQ
Healthy indulgent ice cream supplied by Oppo
A medley of great comedians from Edinburgh Fringe
Esther and Toby's story:
In 2015, my husband Toby and I volunteered with the Flying Medical Service on one of their fortnightly trips. We’re both full-time NHS doctors here in the UK, but we’re heading back for a second trip in April and this time we’re taking medical supplies and essential funds to pay for the fuel needed to keep the FMS doctors in the skies.
Women in the Maasai communities in Arusha, northern Tanzania take their lives in their hands when they become pregnant.
Many live in remote villages with no access to medical care, and no trained doctors or mid-wives to help if things go wrong. Their families have no local GPs to visit when they’re unwell, and their children are rarely vaccinated against easily-prevented disease.
Which is why the Flying Medical Service is such a truly amazing organisation. Run solely on generous donations, its volunteer pilots fly its volunteer doctors and nurses across the endless, breath-taking plains of the Maasai Mara to bring life-saving medical care, antenatal clinics, treatment, vaccinations and emergency evacuations to no fewer than 25 remote Maasai communities in the Arusha region.
In June 2015, Toby and I met our pilot and his tiny, four-seater plane at Arusha airport. Our first stop was a remote hospital with just two wards and very basic facilities, run by nuns. This was our base for our four-day trip. Each day, we flew to three different Maasai communities where our pilot would administer vaccines, while a medical officer held surgeries to see patients with general medical problems.
Toby and I were assigned the antenatal clinics. We took blood pressures, and screened women’s urine for signs of pre-eclampsia. We measured fundal height, listened to the foetal heart beats and gave out folic acid, vitamin D and anti-malarial tablets.
The consulting rooms were wooden shacks, with makeshift wicker beds. There was no concept of privacy – the Maasai women would swarm in, all laughing and joining in on each other’s consultations. When Toby tried to mime that he needed one woman to ‘wee in a pot’ he found himself surrounded by about 60 hysterical women!
During our trip, we met a woman who’d had a septic missed miscarriage. The medical officer gave her antibiotics, but sadly there was no way to offer her the operation she would have received here in the UK.
Another pregnant mum was found to have hyperemesis gravidarum – severe pregnancy sickness – with very low blood pressure. A decision was taken to fly her back to the hospital for IV fluids and antiemetics – both she and her family were deeply concerned at this idea; she’d never left her community before and they’d have no way of visiting her in hospital. But she was extremely brave, and as we prepared to take off with her on board, her family gathered around the plane to pray.
The FMS works with the Maasai through a strict contract of mutual trust and shared responsibility. Each community has to maintain an appropriate landing strip for the planes to land safely, free from roaming animals and overgrown vegetation. In return, the medical teams visit each area once a fortnight.