Since I joined UK-Med as CEO a year ago we’ve seen an exciting period of growth and change. From December 2017 to February 2018 UK-Med deployed with UKEMT partners for the first time since WHO verification to respond to a diphtheria outbreak in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. We ran observational visits to Sierra Leone and Malawi, and undertook assessments for future training deployments to Myanmar and South Sudan. In the UK, we ran twenty nine courses attended by over 500 clinicians. Over 200 volunteers committed to an on-call period in 2018, and we’d like to thank them for their dedication. We were also delighted to announce our membership of the READY program, which looks at global preparedness to disease outbreak – with 2019 seeing us focus on growing this important aspect of our outbreak response programming.
In the year ahead we will seek more opportunities to deploy, in order to meet the increasing need and complexity of emergency health care in response to natural and man-made disasters. Central to this will be developing our links with you, our membership, to ensure that we’re utilising your unparalleled mix of skills and experience. We will also continue to strengthen our core deployable staff team. We will develop the capacity building element of our work, working alongside our colleagues in disaster-prone areas to improve emergency readiness. Raising additional funds will underpin our ability to deploy more often and I hope you will join me in getting behind our new fundraising initiatives, including the Great Manchester Run, growing our emergency response fund so that we can answer more calls for our assistance.
I wish you health and happiness in 2019 and look forward to working with you.