Foscote consultant’s ambulance fundraising for India
In November one of the Foscote Hospital’s consultant anaesthetists, Dr Robbie Kerry, will be travelling to the south of India to provide ten days of free clinics for villagers in the deprived areas on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border area. He is aiming to raise £6,000 to enable them to set up a community ambulance for some of the poorest villages in the region.
Dr Kerry first visited India in 1997 and, in 2000, established a charity, Nehemiah Ministries, together with his colleague, Jayakumar, to promote social justice and to support those living in poverty and provide them with education opportunities.
For the past five years Dr Kerry has been running clinics for some of the poorest and remotest communities in India where people often die from minor illnesses simply because they don’t have access to a doctor and healthcare, providing this service at his own expense during his annual leave. In a single day at a clinic he might see over 100 patients.
Dr Kerry said: “I have seen patients presenting with all sorts of conditions, including uncontrolled diabetes, mystery fevers as well as cases of cancers. Therefore, the lack of ambulances is a major issue that can reduce the effectiveness of my intervention as often the closest hospital is more than ten miles away.”
Often his patients are from the Dalit caste who are considered to be ‘untouchable’ within their own communities, resulting in them suffering severe discrimination and persecution. “Providing basic medical care is secondary to the main impact our visits have, which is to show that their lives matter, we value them, and they are certainly not ‘untouchable’”, said Dr Kerry.