Benenden Nurses in Kilimanjaro Climb

Benenden Nurses in Kilimanjaro Climb

Benenden Nurses in Kilimanjaro Climb

A team of Benenden Hospital staff have successfully completed an adventure of a lifetime by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and raising £5,000 for a medical centre.

A team of Benenden Hospital staff have successfully completed an adventure of a lifetime by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and raising £5,000 for a medical centre.

Simon Brooks, Marcus Dallamore, Rebecca Fellowes, Debkumar Pandit, Su Pothuraju, and Alex Trimmings scaled the highest mountain in Africa in six days.

But it took them just two days to get back down from the 19,340ft peak in Tanzania with the help of 21 porters, two cooks and two guides.

They raised £5,000 to purchase anaesthesia equipment for the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi and spent the first three days of the trip teaching medics how to use it.

Simon said: “It was a massive feeling of elation when we got  to the top and it felt like we were literally on top of the world.

“Some of us had a few slips and falls but luckily none of us suffered too badly from altitude sickness and we all made it up and back down again.”

In April, Simon, Becky, Su and Debkumar climbed Mount Snowdon and Cadair Idris as part of their training for the Kilimanjaro climb. Marcus and Simon also completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Anaesthetic practitioners Simon, Becky and Marcus each received funding from Benenden Hospital’s Lord Plant Travelling Fellowship to help pay for the three-week trip last month.

The fellowship was set up in memory of one of Benenden’s most well-known and respected members and former chairman, Lord Cyril Plant of Benenden.

The grant first became available in 1988 and has since been awarded to staff throughout the hospital every year.

Staff have previously travelled to The Gambia to help set up a health centre, to Japan to study fibre-optic technology and to Romania to help abandoned children.

The group were also supported by Marden-based charity Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide whose mission is to provide life-saving anaesthesia to those in need in poor areas of the world.

There are only around 17 practising anaesthetists in Tanzania, with a population of 56 million people, and very few doctors trained in anaesthesia.

Published on 12 July 2018