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Welsh Ambulance Service donates medical supplies to African based charity

THE Welsh Ambulance Service has teamed up to send much needed medical supplies to clinics and hospitals in Sierra Leone.

When student midwife Charlie Rennie attended a conference in 2017 and first heard of the work being undertaken by the charity Life for African Mothers (LFAM), she knew straight away that it was something that she wanted to support.

Charlie, now 26 and a fully qualified midwife with Hywel Dda University Health Board since 2020, has since gone on to make several trips to Africa, helping to deliver training, education and supplies to Tanzania, Uganda and most recently, Sierra Leone.

Charlie said: “I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved after hearing about the work LFAM does and the help and support they provide to medical services and those giving birth in Africa.

Charlie’s cousin Bobby Williams-Jasper, a 30-year-old fleet technical assistant for the Welsh Ambulance Service based in Merthyr Tydfil heard about the need for medical supplies and approached her colleagues to see if anything could be done to help.

Bobby was delighted to hear that a number of items which would normally be disposed of due to being out of date were available and ready to be donated to LFAM.

The charity provides tailored training to midwives in Sub-Saharan Africa through skill sharing workshops and medication distribution, with a focus on preventing post-partum haemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal mortality in developing countries.

Charlie continued: “Initially, it was quite a culture shock to see the vast differences in resources and equipment between Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.

“These health professionals are incredibly inspiring, working with little to no resources and I feel privileged and humbled to have visited these hospitals, clinics and health centres, sharing my experiences and skills in workshops facilitated by LFAM.”

Chris Turley, Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “It’s great to see these items being used for such a positive and worthwhile cause.

“Ordinarily, these medical supplies would be disposed of, potentially going to landfill but by diverting these products, it not only supports our aim to reduce waste and our carbon impact, but also benefits and helps save lives in other parts of the world.”

Charlie’s charitable work has been fully supported by her employers at the Hywel Dda University Health Board and aligns with the Wales and Africa programme, which supports people in Wales to take action on poverty in Africa.

Charlie said: “My managers at Hywel Dda have been fantastic and always supported my work with LFAM.

“This is important and allows me to focus on the work I do in Africa so I’m really grateful for the support and understanding they have shown me.”

Hywel Dda’s Head of Midwifery Kathy Greaves said: “We are so happy to support Charlie in this important work.

“We are fortunate to have experienced and highly-trained midwives like Charlie working for us at Hywel Dda and it is great that she can pass on her skills and experience to help women in Sub-Saharan Africa have a positive experience of pregnancy and birth.”

Editor’s Notes

For more information, email Communications Officer or call Jeff on 07811 748363.