In a quiet country spot near Wingham a member of the House of Lords is helping to run a charity that is saving lives around the world. His life-saving channel is the web.
Lord Swinfen MBE, chairman of the Swinfen Charitable Trust, explained to our members on Thursday (July 25) how the trust’s telemedicine links are used to save lives and to help solve medical issues in a number of the world’s trouble spots.
For instance, a man in Afghanistan suffers a severe throat wound. There is no throat specialist available. A modern digital camera takes a picture of the wound, the picture is e-mailed back to a central base which locates a specialist throat consultant somewhere in the world. The specialist then advises, by e-mail, how to deal with the wound. One benefit is that it avoids overseas travel by medical specialists.
The trust, he said, operated in 78 countries with 700 medical consultants. More than 5,500 medical cases have now been assisted. In addition, the trust is opening a number of clinics around the world.
Lord Swinfen, the 3rd Baron Swinfen, whose home is near Wingham, served in the army with The Royal Scots. His wife Lady Swinfen, a former nurse, plays a leading role in the charity and she too was awarded the MBE.