A Fraserburgh-based charity is helping to stage a medical training mission to Uganda later this year.
Oor Bairns Charitable Trust will be flying out two ultrasound machines and two volunteer support staff in September.
Weel-kent ex-fisherman William Whyte has raised £100,000s for both local and international causes over the past 20 years. His fundraising efforts through the recycling of donated old fishing nets, ropes, chains and other materials, have helped pay for replacement boats in the likes of storm-hit communities in Burma, India and Sumatra.
Earlier this year, his charity supported his niece Jocelyn Reid who attended Rosehearty School and Fraserburgh Academy.
Jocelyn, now lead midwife sonographer at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, received Oor Bairns’ funding to undertake a trip with donated medical equipment to Ghana this year to help train staff in the Volta region of the country.
Jocelyn explained that old ultrasound equipment previously used in Raigmore Hospital, replaced due to new standards that must be adhered to in this country, would be exactly the kind of thing the African health centres need.
She said: “We have these machines which, although we can’t use them, are still in working order and make a huge difference to the local community in Ghana. With 17 maternal deaths a month in the region, the equipment and training is vital.”
Jocelyn and colleague Aileen Paterson helped train ten staff on the use of the machines so they know what to look for when scanning mums-to-be and help the region reduce its stillbirth and maternal mortality rate.
She said: “I was aware that Oor Bairns do a lot of charity work in Uganda. Both myself and Aileen wanted to give something in return for the generous donation given to us for our Ghana trip as without this our trip wouldn’t have been possible.
“We asked Raigmore if the two remaining ultrasound machines could be donated to Oor Bairns in order for them to go to Uganda and we would use our own annual leave to go out and train the staff.”
The machines will be flown out to the Nakasongola Health Centre in Uganda.