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06 May 2009
Greater self-confidence and a willingness to try fresh approaches to medical treatment are just some of the ways doctors can benefit from spending time working with patients in the developing world, a University expert will argue this week.
As part of a series of University sponsored Science in Health public lectures University Provost, Professor Stephen Tomlinson, will deliver a lecture entitled: Africa, dying for help - why bother?
In his lecture, Professor Tomlinson will outline the benefits for medical professionals of spending time and treating patients in the developing world.
Professor Tomlinson said: "I believe we have a moral duty to help the developing world and, as medical professionals, to treat and share our medical knowledge. However, something that is often overlooked is the benefits for our own personal development and for the benefits of our patients.
"For example, doctors who’ve spent time in Africa bring back with them improved professional skills, personal development and understanding of different cultures. They increase their self-confidence, self-reliance and improve their willingness to try fresh approaches to tackling challenges back in the UK.
"In addition, it encourages people to develop leadership, team-working skills and a willingness to take responsibility, especially working in an environment with extremely limited resources."
The University has a long and established tradition of helping developing countries. The established links are aimed at improving health through education and training healthcare professionals.
The Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) was founded by Professor Eldryd Parry, the son of a Cardiff GP and a graduate of the former Welsh National School of Medicine as well as a University Fellow.
The Trust aims to improve the basic health services of the poorest countries, building long-term capacity through training and support. It promotes partnerships between NHS institutions, UK medical and other health professional schools and their counterparts in developing countries globally.
Professor Tomlinson added: "Professor Parry spent 20 years of his working life in Africa, becoming the foundation Dean of the medical school in Addis Ababa and working not only in Nigeria, but also in Ghana and Uganda.
"In many respects, Wales is leading on links with Africa – there are many long-standing and established links between NHS trusts and Welsh universities and sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Parry persuaded me that I should go to Ghana, and I helped establish links with Kumasi Medical School. I would encourage all my colleagues to do the same."
Other University links include Mothers of Africa, a charity set up by Professor Judith Hall of the School of Medicine in response to maternal mortality figures in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The lecture takes place on Thursday 7 May 2009 at 7.30pm in the Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre, Main Building. The lecture is free and no booking is required.
Further information is available by contacting Andrew Emery by e-mail EmeryAD@cardiff.ac.uk or telephone: 029 2087 6935.
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