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Retired Holyport GP volunteers in Tanzania

A retired doctor and grandmother saved the lives of two attempted murder victims and delivered a baby on a recent trip to Tanzania.

Dr Jenny Langton, a GP at Holyport surgery for more than 30 years, spent nearly two weeks aboard the Jubilee Hope, an ex-navy vessel chartered by the Vine Trust, a Glasgow-based organisation that provides medical services to the people of the Islands on Lake Victoria.

The grandmother-of-three joined four other UK volunteers, three doctors and a teacher, sailing between the islands of Karebe and Goziba where hundreds of islanders would be waiting for them as they arrived.

Jenny said: “They’re known as the forgotten people of the islands, but they will never be forgotten by me.

“Between myself and the other two doctors we had over 100 years of NHS experience, but I’ve never seen anything like what I saw in those 12 days.”

Jenny helped one mother give birth to a healthy baby girl after an agonising 72-hour labour. She said: “The fact that one in ten die in childbirth made the baby’s good health even more miraculous.”

In the UK, a delivery period of more than 24 hours is deemed unsafe for the mother.

During two other incidents, a man came in who had been slashed with a machete across his back, and Jenny helped treat another man with a serious head wound and two broken arms.

HIV rates on the islands are much higher than on the mainland, at around 30 per cent. They are nearly six times higher than in the rest of the country.

Jenny said: “The charity has the detection, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDs as a central part of its mission there. It’s hoped that the full range of services to HIV positive patients will be available on the ship in the near future.”

Visit www.vinetrust.org for more information about the charity or to make a donation.

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