Publish date: 21 December 2020

Northumbria partnership inspires NHS staff giving vaccines to raise thousands of pounds to provide clean water in Africa

A group of people standing next to a sign for the 'Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy'.

Our work to transform healthcare in Tanzania has inspired NHS staff giving people in North Tyneside Covid vaccinations to raise £7,500 to provide clean water or sanitation for communities in Africa.

The success of our ground-breaking partnership with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, which is funded by our Bright charity, has led to staff administering the first dose of the jab in GP practices in the north west of the borough wanting to do something to help those less fortunate.

Dr James Lunn, director of the North West North Tyneside Primary Care Network (PCN), said: “Since Covid came to dominate the news, the plight of hundreds of thousands of people – all of whom are someone’s child, or sibling or parent or friend – have died because they lack the basic provision of clean water has touched the heart of our PCN of GPs and their colleagues in north west North Tyneside.

“As such our Covid vaccination programme has led to countless staff giving up their wages, time and making donations so that in four days since we launched £7,500 has been raised to provide clean water or sanitation to thousands of people in Africa.

“We have been inspired by the work our colleagues at Northumbria do in Tanzania and want to capitalise on the North East’s sense of duty to help those less fortunate.

“That is a silver lining to a terrible cloud, it is a monument to the humanity we have in our region – it is something of which to be tremendously proud.”

The NHS is currently offering the Covid-19 vaccination to people most at risk from coronavirus in some hospitals and hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs. People should wait to be contacted by the NHS and not approach the NHS for a vaccination before then.

For more than 20 years, our volunteer teams have provided training and support to health workers in Tanzania which has vastly improved patients’ experiences.