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PONT (Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust)

The Welsh Ambulance Service has joined forces with a charity to improve the lives of residents in a district of Uganda called Mbale.

A partnership document was signed in March 2009 at Hawthorn Ambulance Station between the Trust and PONT (Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust.) PONT is a charity that is based in Pontypridd. It started in 2002 and linked Pontypridd to Mbale Town in Uganda in order to form a long-term partnership to “Make Poverty History” there.

Subsequently Pontypridd town formally twinned with Mbale town, and more recently Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough formally twinned with Mbale region, which has a total population of 760,000.

This direct local link has enabled PONT to make the partnership much more personal and easier for people to identify with.

Welsh Ambulance Service frontline staff were invited by PONT to visit Mbale to explore the possibility of setting up an Emergency Ambulance Service for the Mbale region.

They soon realised just how much the Trust had to offer when they discovered that the region of Mbale did indeed have no ambulance service.

WAST Officers Darryl Collins and Tony Rossetti developed a training package that could be offered to the regions Operational Level Health Workers and Community Health Promoters.

Nine Welsh Ambulance Service staff paid their own way to travel out to Uganda in November 2009 to carry out the training to the first 60 Operational Level Health Workers.

The paramedics and technicians from the Welsh Ambulance Service are collecting donations for the Mbale service and plans are being drawn up to bring Ugandan medics to Wales to boost their training skills.

The group is continually fundraising for PONT and is looking to purchase a number of special sidecar motorbikes for the region.

For more details email julian.newton@talktalk.net or andrewpip@hotmail.co.uk or tony.rossetti@ambulance.wales.nhs.uk.




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