A Happy New Year to all of our partners and volunteers, and of course to anyone else who may be reading this blog post. We all hope very much that 2021 will be a significant improvement on 2020!
Unfortunately the Global Coronavirus Pandemic continues to be a significant problem for our field operations as we are currently unable to send any of our Biomedical Engineering volunteers overseas. It has meant suspending all of our on-going partnerships until further notice, and right now, with the new variant sweeping through the UK, it is hard to put a date on when we will be fully operational again. We were hoping to return to sending volunteers to both Uganda and Zambia in the Spring of 2021, but with the UK once again in a full lockdown, and significant restrictions on travel currently in place, that is now looking unlikely.
However, over the last few months we have been working with THET and our partners in Zambia to organise an online workshop where BMEs in Zambia would be able to undertake practical work on certain items of equipment in a two-way Zoom link with a team of our volunteers in the UK. Hilditch Group have very kindly offered the use of their BME lab, together with the relevant equipment items from the floor of their auction rooms in order to facilitate the workshop. This was due to take place on Saturday 23rd January, but the new lockdown here in the UK will now prevent the volunteers from travelling to Malmesbury for the workshop, and indeed from working together in the lab in order to deliver the 6 hour webinar.
So, once again we appear to have been thwarted by the virus. We will nonetheless keep a careful eye on things, and as soon as it is permissible we plan to go ahead with the Webinar. Watch this space!