A TEAM of 30 young volunteers from Wirral has returned from a mercy mission in Uganda, helping save the lives of malaria victims.

They were in Africa as part of a project led by surgeon Stephen Blair, who works at Murrayfield Hospital in Heswall, and wife Christine.

While there they treated more than 2,000 people and handed out over 1,800 toothbrushes.

Wirral Globe:

Member of the Wirral team meets patients at the outdoor clinic in Uganda

Stephen, a top general surgeon at the private hospital swaps his role there every year for a more rough and remote medical posting in East Africa.

Alongside the group of local youngsters, the 60-year-old spent his time on the trip working in schools, clinics and an orphanage the team have set up there.

Wirral Globe:

Stephen Blair with a lame man who had a road traffic accident a year ago which left him with shattered left leg. With a splint from England and crutches the Wirral team had him walking again.

He said: "It went extremely well.

"It's always very rewarding to go and we had a good, strong team of 30 teenagers and medical as well as dental teams and we managed to achieve a lot.

"During the two weeks travelling with the medical team we treated over 2,000 people in areas where there is otherwise no medical service at all.

“A lot of what we saw were simple infections that we treated with antibiotics but we were also presented with, for example a small boy who was fitting from the effects of malaria.

“We gave him some intravenous medication and he recovered but if we hadn’t have been there he would have died within hours.

"It is great to be able to do things like that and the local people really appreciate us being there."

Wirral Globe:

Treating a patient with a 'bush' nebuliser, a cut down water bottle and an inhaler for a child too young to be able to use an inhaler.

Working alongside a team of Ugandan translators and supporters the young people on the trip had three set tasks during their stay – to run a menstrual health project, support malaria defences and teach about dental care.

Wirral Globe:

Ugandan boy with hydrocephalus who was treated by members of the Wirral team

The trip was organised through the Parish Of Heswall churches and was the fifth of its kind to take place. 

It is supported by the Rock Of Joy Trust which was established to help three schools and their communities in Uganda after initial visits from Heswall medics and churchgoers back in 2007.