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Highland Hero of Heroes Andy Kent jets to Malawi to assist in cyclone aftermath

By Gregor White

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Andy Kent (left) has flown out to Malawi to help injured survivors of a cyclone there.
Andy Kent (left) has flown out to Malawi to help injured survivors of a cyclone there.

A Highland medic has flown out to Malawi to help in the aftermath of a major natural disaster.

Andy Kent, who was named as Northern Times' publisher HNM's healthcare hero and hero of heroes at this year Highland Hero awards for his work in Ukraine, received an urgent call last Wednesday to deploy to the African nation as part of an assessment team for the UKEMT (emergency medical team).

He said: "Following Cyclone Freddy, the Malawian government applied for international assistance (through the World Health Organization) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office arranged the immediate deployment of the UK ISAR (International Search and Rescue team) recently so active in Turkey, and ourselves.

"Actually we have already had a medical team in country for several weeks dealing with the cholera outbreak which had been getting under control but is now anticipated to surge again (due to the flooding and temporary camps).

"I’m part of a six-person team – looking at a possible surgical response, mobile primary health care clinics (in the temporary camps) and, potentially, cholera treatment clinics."

He added: "Unfortunately, most of the casualties were drownings but there are a large number with broken long bones (often open) who require surgical treatment.

"We are hoping to assist the local orthopaedic service with additional staff and equipment in the short term.

"I personally have only committed to two weeks on mission – as I have been away from home (and NHS work) for more than I would normally plan over the past 12 months!"

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