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Holyport doctor joins fight against HIV in Mwanza

A retired GP is appealing for donations of football equipment in a bid to encourage men in Tanzania to get involved in the fight against HIV.

Dr Jenny Langdon worked at Holyport Surgery until 2014 and since then has spent her time working in her capacity as a doctor on the Jubilee Hope ship.

The ship is based in Mwanza and goes out to each group of islands in Lake Victoria every three months.

All healthcare is provided, including consultation, dental work, lab tests and dispensed medication is free.

Jenny has just come back from five weeks on the ship where the main focus is on HIV, which affects 30-40 per cent of the islanders, compared to five per cent of Tanzanians living on the mainland.

In 2016 a support system to educate women about HIV was set up with four women and there are now 400, who Jenny says are ‘thriving, gaining independence and empowerment’.

The Jubilee Hope crew now want to get the men involved in the same fight and believe that football is key.

Jenny said: “They all absolutely love football and the Premier League, when there’s a Premier League match on you can hear all across the island the cheering.”

The ship’s football team plays after-work matches with the island team and then talk to them about the spread of HIV and avoiding it.

She added: “So far this is going down well, but there is a need for footballs, football kit and football boots. Mostly the islanders play in bare feet in their ordinary clothes.”

To donate kits, boots or footballs, contact jenny1langdon@gmail.com

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