Virtual Doctors: Supporting Frontline Healthcare in Rural Zambia

The Virtual Doctors have launched their new Covid-19 Response Fund to support their ongoing partnership with the Zambian Government and their efforts to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, helping frontline rural health workers across rural Zambia. It will ensure that they can continue to provide vital telemedical and educational support to the 140 health centres they work within rural Zambia.

Since 2010, the Virtual Doctors have worked closely with the Zambian Ministry of Health and more recently Malawi to help improve the quality of health care in rural communities via telemedicine. In light on this pandemic, their work is more critical than ever before. It is too late to suppress Covid-19 in Zambia, but the Virtual Doctors have a crucial window of time to diminish its impact by supporting their local government efforts whilst continuing to provide their vital telemedicine support to Clinical Officers in their health centres across Zambia. Telemedicine and e-learning can support social distancing by circulating knowledge remotely, enabling virtual triage and reducing unnecessary referrals to distant and overworked hospitals.

Medical personnel across the globe are struggling to secure PPE to protect them in their daily fight with the virus and for frontline health workers in rural communities including Zambia, the challenges can be greater.

In recognition that Covid-19 may begin to overwhelm their health centres and health workers, their Response Plan focuses on infection prevention and response through Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), as well as simple diagnostic and education initiatives. In order to do this, the charity urgently needs to raise funds to cover the cost of procurement and transport required to equip the 140 facilities for 3 months, until continuity is ensured by the Ministry of Health.

Virtual Doctors' Executive Director and Founder, Huw Jones, has this to say: "We can play a key role in supporting the Ministry of Health response to this unprecedented crisis. We are perfectly positioned to recognise critical needs and ways in which we can provide immediate assistance. We hope many will join us by contributing to the Virtual Doctors' Covid-19 Response Fund, established with an initial contribution of £10,000 by our Board."

Suggested donations include:

  • Information dissemination packet - £30
  • Diagnostic equipment - £100 (thermometer OR oxygen saturation probe)
  • WASH Kit for 1 month - £110 (foot-operated washbasin, hand soap, surface disinfectant, continuous spray bottle, cleaning rags, 10 Reusable face masks)

The charity is appealing for support for the Fund, if you would like to donate please follow this link.

If you would like to spread their message and share on social media please do so using #cleanwaterforclinics.