St George Hospital's medical mission for Sutherland Shire charity Kenya Aid

Outside of the clinical white walls of the hospital they're normally used to, these medics swapped their modern hospital comforts for treating patients in very different surrounds.

As part of a Sutherland Shire-born project called Kenya Aid, a volunteer medical team travelled to Kenya in April this year.

A team of six doctors and nurses from St George Hospital's emergency department were on a global mission to take their expertise to less fortunate parts of the world.

They spent two weeks holding medical camps where they provided free and essential services to people who live in Western Kenya.

The team took equipment and medicines, and helped provide free essential services and care for conditions including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

One of the team members was emergency department staff specialist, Ryan Snaith, of Engadine. He and his wife Verity formed the charity Kenya Aid in 2009, to provide much-needed resources to people living in remote and disadvantaged communities.

The whole team was made up of four including Dr Snaith - also there was Sarah Brockbank, Matt Fitzpatrick, Chris Lycett and two nurses Sahn Zanot and Juliette Sheahan.

"The trip was a huge success, despite it being the first time most of the team had travelled to Kenya," Dr Snaith said.

"Kenya Aid runs a community hospital in a village called Shikunga in Kenya's western province. This area has one of the highest levels of poverty and the highest population density of any rural region of Kenya. It also has HIV rates varying between 10 to 20 per cent.

"During our trip, the St George Hospital team held three medical camps in surrounding villages and saw over 350 patients. The most common conditions we treated included severe malaria, pneumonia, HIV related disease, leishmaniases as well as diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

"Clinically, there were a number of challenges - we didn't have access to radiology for diagnoses or treatment, and the types of blood tests available were limited.

"Also, because were working in remote communities, it was also difficult to refer patients on for further tests due to distance and cost. This makes the diagnosis and management of things like heart disease and shortness of breath very challenging.

"Despite these barriers, the team were still able to make a big impact to health of hundreds of people, which was extremely rewarding."

There is a charity dinner being held at 6.30pm on August 8, to raise funds for Kenya Aid's health and education programs in rural western Kenya.

Hosted by Lotfus TAFE and with live African drumming and dancing, there will be a Kenyan feast, auction, market stalls and raffles.

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