Profiles & Patrons

Hilary Fenton-Harris (PAL Co-ordinator)

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I’ve been involved with the Poole Africa Link since the first Wau meeting in 2008 and the initial fact finding visit in 2009. My background of midwifery, primary and critical care nursing and hospital management have been a great asset in setting up and running the link and the work I’m involved in during my visits to Wau. Fundraising and giving talks about the link also play an important part of what I do.

I’ve now been to Wau eight times. Every time is such an amazing experience and we have made
many good friends both in the hospital and local community. The people of Wau are always very grateful for what we do there, but the rewards of working with these amazing people far outweigh what we do for them. I’ve seen many improvements and developments over the last 6 years and although on occasions security concerns have prevented us visiting we continue to support in whatever way we can, currently setting up a link in Uganda in the hope we also be able to teach clinical staff from South Sudan there.

Dr. Frankie Dormon (PAL Medical Lead)

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After training as a doctor I specialised in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care. I have spent my career teaching junior doctors and nurses the importance of recognition and early management of the deteriorating patient.

The most effective interventions are often the simplest but technology has driven the UK towards ever increasing complexity and cost. I am delighted to be involved in helping the people of South Sudan to develop their health service with their limited resources.

I relish the challenge of teaching their doctors and nurses the importance of doing the basic things effectively. We all believe in the importance of teaching rather than doing. “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him to fish and he will feed himself for the rest of his life.

Dame Yvonne Moores (PAL Patron)

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Yvonne trained as a nurse and midwife and after holding senior clinical and managerial positions inSouthampton, Winchester and London, then served as chief nursing officer for Wales, Scotland and England. She chaired the Global advisory group for WHO in Geneva from 1994-1998 and was Chair of Southampton University from 2000-2006.

She was a founder member of the Poole Africa Link and since going on the fact finding visit to Wau in 2009 has remained a very active PAL committee member, committed to raising the profile of the Link at every opportunity, being dedicated to public speaking about the Link and successful fundraising.

Dr. Antoinette McAulay (PAL Chair & Trustee)

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I have worked as a Consultant Paediatrician in Poole for over 20 years having trained predominately in Bristol and Manchester. During this period I have been heavily involved in medical student and junior doctor training, including being the paediatric tutor for the deanery, a senior examiner for MRCPCH, and an instructor for neonatal and paediatric life support courses.

My interest in the Wau project started when I was asked to join the first exploratory visit in April 2009. I have been Chairing the Poole Africa Link committee for the last few years and have been fortunate enough to return to Wau on several occasions to see some significant improvements in infrastructure and practice. I am excited about the opportunity to extend the link into Uganda, where we hope further support staff at Wau as well as at Lira.

Kate Pigott (Paediatric Nurse)

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I trained as a Registered General Nurse, qualifying in 1993 but quickly found a home in Paediatrics.

Subsequently I did the Registered Sick Children’s Nurse course. I moved to Poole and started working at Poole Hospital in 1997 and have been working on the wards of the Children’s Unit there ever since. I now mainly work in our small Children’s High Dependency Unit.
I have a real interest in the Developing World and the importance of skill and knowledge sharing as a means of facilitating change there. Assisting Wau Hospital staff and students to professionally develop and so begin to gain solutions to the challenges they face continues to be a real privilege.

Sara Barton (Midwife)

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I am a qualified midwife who has worked at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust since 2003. I currently work on central delivery suite, where I spend part of my time shift leading and part of my time caring for women and their families around the time of birth. I feel privileged to be able to share such an intimate and special time with them.

I became involved with the Poole Africa link in 2010 and have travelled to Wau three times now to share my midwifery knowledge and skills with the midwives and students there, including normal birth, infection control and obstetric emergencies.

Ally Ahvee (Paediatric Nurse)

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I am a paediatric nurse who has worked in Poole for most of my paediatric career. Previously I worked in Nottingham and Southampton Hospitals, my experience in the field is very varied but my particular expertise lies in nursing critically ill children.

I have been to Wau twice now and my work with the Poole Africa Link has given me additional knowledge and skills in nursing children where the access to care, treatment and resources are limited.

Dr. Peter McEwan (Neonatology Consultant)

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I have worked as neonatal paediatrician in Poole Hospital for 8 years. I have been interested in African health issues for some time and spent seven months in Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa in 1997. I hold a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Liverpool.

As part of training paediatricians and midwives in Africa, it is important to update their skills in the care of new born babies at delivery and how best to support their breathing. Our practice in the UK has moved forward a lot since the advent of neonatal intensive care in the 1970’s, but a lot of what we do is still appropriate to care for African babies in hospitals where intensive care is not available.

Hilary Ashdown (Midwife)

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I currently work as a community midwife in the Purbeck area. I am fortunate to work with women and their families supporting them through pregnancy, birth and into parenthood. Education is an important part of my role empowering women to make informed choices and facilitating learning for midwifery students.

I became involved with PAL in 2013 having been inspired by other midwives and their work in Wau, South Sudan. My first visit to Wau was in Feb 2015.

In the United Kingdom we have regulated training, guided and supported practice and good facilities/equipment. In contrast in a low economic setting where resources, equipment and access to health care can be limited, education in early intervention and the management of obstetric emergencies can be life saving. My objective was therefore to pass some of my midwifery skills and knowledge gained over 29 years of practice to the midwives and students of Wau. I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the students in their learning and their desire to provide good maternity care for the women and babies of South Sudan.

Abi Dixon (Registered General Nurse )

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I was privileged to go to Wau in February 2013 with the team. This was my first experience of sub Sarahan Afrcia and I found the visit humbling and amazingly rewarding. Much of my time was spent teaching basic adult and paediatric resuscitation skills to doctors, nurses and midwives and also the students.

Having started my own family now Im not likely to go again in the near future but I continue to be involved in fundraising.

Sally Loven (Midwife)

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I trained as a nurse initially before becoming a qualified midwife. I have worked at the maternity unit in Poole since 1990. I became involved with PAL in 2010 and have travelled to South Sudan on several occasions with various teams. Through the work of the Link I have met some very interesting people and had the privilege of teaching numerous aspects of midwifery education.