Request for medical support at the Nicolas School

Request for medical support at the Nicolas School.

Dear friends and supporters of Rainbows4children,

Firstly our apologies for the length of this letter, but please read to the end because it is important for the children at our school.

Just before Christmas, we were very sad to learn that one of our students, a girl of 17, had lost her battle against HIV / AIDS and had passed away in the arms of her family. She had been infected
even before she was born, whilst still in her mother’s womb and had been receiving medical treatment for many years. At the school we were aware of her situation and she had been receiving special nutrition to help her body fight against the disease, but eventually she was too weak to survive.
Despite improvements in local medical support, our school community faces many challenges with health issues:-
Local doctors who lack adequate training, facilities and experience.
Parents who believe that holy water from the church will cure their child and consequently take them to the doctor when it is too late.
Medical treatment regimens that are not followed because of lack of education, a shortage of medicines, and local superstition.

Sadly, she was not the first student at our school to die of HIV / AIDS. Others have died of meningitis, epilepsy and cancer. As a community, with 1400 children and 150 staff we are now the size of a large African village and we are very much in need of a higher level of medical advice and expertise than is available locally.
It was the help of several expert doctors giving us advice, and eventually treatment in Bangkok, that saved the life of Selam. She has now in very good health, having been cleared of leukaemia and is a top student in grade 5.

Here is our request and proposal:-
In the same way that we now have advisors and regular visitors to the school who have helped to build the skills of our team in science, we are now looking to create a small network of medical advisors based in Europe and / or the USA – or in any place where there are high medical standards and with good internet/ phone access.

We would welcome a network of say 5-10 doctors who would be willing to collaborate and help us in 2 ways.

Some doctors may be willing to provide consultation by email or comment on treatment regimens or medical decisions. They could give their time to give us advice or check diagnoses, and advise on the best course of treatment, then we would be better informed to understand how to intervene.

Other doctors may be willing to give us their time and come and visit our school and be part of a team or network giving us a well-qualified and experienced doctor on-site for about 1 week, 4 times per year. This team would be inter-connected and also to be able to provide advice and follow-up
by phone / email.
Our plan is to create a partnership between our eventual team of visiting medical advisors and 2-3 local doctors at the local hospital. This would benefit our children and teachers and would also help to raise the skills of the selected local doctors, giving them a valuable second opinion for difficult cases.

Our request to you is to check with your own doctor or medical specialist to see if they would be willing to volunteer their time and skills. We are happy to provide further details to anyone interested, and they can contact us at

The initial areas of expertise needed are:-

1) HIV / AIDS (children)
2) Epilepsy (children)
3) Diabetes (adults)
4) Kidney disease (all ages)
5) General internal medicine (all ages)
6) Cardiology (adults)
7) Nutrition (all ages)

Thank you in advance for any support and contacts you can provide to help us form this medical advisory team.

Best wishes,

Max and Kathryn

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