SCoR Talk The Society of Radiographers

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Monday, February 16, 2015, Issue 127

New SCoR award offers opportunity to volunteer overseas

rad-aid

The SCoR is asking managers to promote the benefits of volunteering overseas to staff in their departments.

It has teamed up with RAD-AID International to offer members the opportunity to contribute to the healthcare needs of the developing world in an exciting new award programme.

Recipients of this award – which will cover return air fare, accommodation, and any other expenses such as visas, professional indemnity insurance, inoculations – will join RAD-AID’s project teams in international initiatives around the world that are designed to improve access to quality medical imaging for populations in need.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately four billion people world-wide live with illness and death that could have been treated or avoided if radiology had been available…. A pregnant woman in Africa who loses her baby from a complication that could have been avoided using ultrasound… A woman in Asia who dies of breast cancer that could have been treated if mammography had been available… A child in Latin America who loses the use of his leg after trauma from a bone fracture that could have been detected if x-rays had been available.

RAD-AID was established in 2008 to answer this need with a mission to increase and improve radiology resources in the developing and impoverished countries of the world. 

From its origins with just a few people at John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, USA, it has grown to include more than 2700 contributors from 200 countries and programmes in Africa (Cape Verde, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda), Asia (Bhutan, China, India, Jordon, Nepal), Latin America and the Caribbean (Haiti, Nicaragua). 

And this new award will enable members to get involved, with all the necessary funding in place to cover expenses. Placements are generally offered according to the needs of the site – which are typically one to two weeks but occasionally can be longer – and in most cases, a RAD-AID team arrives together, completes a set of objectives, and leaves together, ensuring good team spirit and commitment throughout. 

SCoR membership and public relations manager Sean Kelly is keen to promote the advantages of the programme: “We are hoping that this award will encourage more people to volunteer in developing countries, to use their skills and experience in places that really need them, in a scheme that’s already well established.

“This partnership provides our members with the opportunity to undertake a short volunteer placement with immense benefits not only to the placement site itself, but also to the individual, who will gain in a range of professional, personal and educational areas.”

He also stressed the need for manager support: “The NHS Employers organisation (NHSE) recognises and promotes the value of releasing staff for volunteer work and I would urge managers to be supportive and to use whatever resources are available to assist any staff member wishing to apply for a placement of this type. 

Managers can visit the NHSE website and download the appropriate guidance. This document sets out clearly the NHSE’s advocacy for overseas volunteering and may be helpful to managers when putting forward the case to support this.”

There is no limit on the number of awards that can be offered through the Society in any one year, and applications are now open. 

To apply, members will need to contact Sean Kelly and register online with a brief summary of their interests, experience and qualifications, in order to be matched to any potential projects. 

When a match comes up, they will then be interviewed by a representative from RAD-AID and the SCoR to assess their suitability for the project. 

Click here for further information or contact Sean as above.

STOP PRESS: The SoR has just heard that placements have been secured for the latter half of July in Malawi. RAD-AID is looking for radiographers with plain X-ray and CT experience in paediatrics. Contact Sean Kelly for further information.

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