Exercise challenge helps COVID-19 patients overseas

Members of Cambridge Global Health Partnerships (CGHP) are, quite literally, going the extra mile to help beat COVID-19 in low and middle income countries.

Headshot of Evelyn Brealey, CGHP director, and daughter Siana Brealey
Evelyn Brealey, CGHP director, and daughter Siana Brealey

More than 70 members of CGHP and their families and friends have between them walked, run and cycled more than 5,800 miles in a bid to raise vital cash.

Team members, many of whom are clinicians and researchers working on the frontline, have spent any spare time clocking up miles as part of their permitted exercise regimes.

They have kept in touch via social media and calculate they are just 350 miles short of their virtual target of Kampala in Uganda, where the partnership does much of its vital work.

Team members, who began with individual targets of 2.6 miles for 26 days, are hoping more sponsors will rally round now they are in the final stage. They are currently sweltering, virtually, somewhere in South Sudan.

Participants enter the number of miles they walk, run or cycle into a form on our website where we have a timeline tracking progress. This also pinpoints key locations we pass through on our way to Kampala. People can also buy miles by making donations at £1 per mile.

CGHP director, Evelyn Brealey
Ezra Anecho running smiling at the camera Consultant obstetrician, Charlotte Patient, and daughter, Rosie Sale standing outside smiling at the camera
Ezra Anecho running smiling at the camera
Ezra Anecho, running in Uganda
Consultant obstetrician, Charlotte Patient, and daughter, Rosie Sale standing outside smiling at the camera
Consultant obstetrician, Charlotte Patient, and daughter, Rosie Sale

We share progress across social media. Photos and stories from people’s CGHP Challenge contributions are shared and the sense of friendship and camaraderie is wonderful. It’s fantastic to have people contributing miles from all across our international partnerships and friendships!

One person suggested making miles done paddle boarding also eligible, which we’ll certainly consider if we extend the Challenge to try to reach Yangon, Myanmar, since to get there involves crossing water!

Among those who joined in with the CGHP Challenge was Ezra Anecho from the Uganda Cancer Institute. He said: “This challenge has enabled me to contribute to a worthy cause despite the global challenges being faced as a result of COVID 19.”
CGHP, which has bought scrubs and other vital supplies, is a global health charitable programme that works across NHS and academic institutions in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire inspiring and enabling people to improve healthcare globally. 

Operating under the umbrella of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, CGHP has established global health partnerships across Africa, Latin America and South East Asia, tackling everything from avoidable blindness to reducing hospital associated infections. 

The programme is focused on reciprocal learning and long-term sustainable change in global health. UK CGHP members gain vital experience of working in unfamiliar conditions, leading teams, and discovering new skills that can be used back home. They also make important new contacts via networking. 

CGHP also has an established support system for healthcare professionals volunteering outside of its core partnerships, supporting since its inception in 2007 more than 600 experts to deliver over 11,000 days of training, guidance and support in 64 countries.

Anyone interested in supporting or learning more about CGHP and global health can find more information at https://cambridgeghp.org/