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Yesterday we were very honoured to be invited to speak about the Hummingbird Project at a conference held by the University of Bolton on “Global Health: Addressing Inequalities”. The conference was chaired by Professor Jerome Carson and Dr Roshelle Ramkisson.

The keynote speakers were leaders in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and medicine, including Professor Iqbal Singh, Professor Nusrat Hussain, Professor Subodh Dave, Dr Roshelle Ramkisson, and Dr Chathurika Kannangara. The talks covered a fascinating range of discussions around health inequalities, including the challenges of an ageing population, recovery from addiction, mental health stigma in South Asian populations, and the impact of Covid-19 on students’ mental health.

We were also extremely inspired to hear from five PhD students from Pakistan, whose research is addressing the multiple barriers faced by women in Pakistan working in business, teaching, higher education and engineering.

Pictured: (left to right) Professor Jerome Carson, Dr Roshelle Ramkisson, Ian Platt

MedEquip4Kids Project Lead, Ian Platt, gave a presentation on the Hummingbird Project, our positive psychology intervention for primary and secondary schools in the North West. The six-week course introduces concepts that improve wellbeing, such as character strengths, kindness, mindfulness, gratitude, and hope.

Ian has now delivered the course to over 4,500 school pupils, with another 800 already booked in for this year. He showed how the project is achieving significant improvements in wellbeing and hope, as well as reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms, in the young people who have completed the course.

Following Ian’s talk, Dr Ghazala Baig, CEO of MedEquip4Kids (pictured at the top of the page) introduced the work of the charity and the background to the Hummingbird Project. She explained how the project contributes to reducing health inequalities: “The course is free of charge and we prioritise schools in deprived areas where there is a higher prevalence of social issues contributing to poor mental health in the population.

“Our vision is to expand the Hummingbird Project to other areas of the North West, and eventually nationwide. We are very excited about the future of the project and we hope it will make a significant contribution to improving young people’s wellbeing.”

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“Infections of the central nervous system need urgent and appropriate treatment. Most laboratory methods can take from 24 to 48 hours for diagnosis of bacterial meningitis and three to seven days for diagnosis of viral meningitis or encephalitis. The new equipment will mean we can get results of these tests in around an hour. We’ll be able to inform the clinicians of a positive result, allowing targeted therapy and reassurance to the patients and families. Just as important is the reporting of negative results, which may enable treatment withdrawal and possibly a shorter hospital stay.”

Dr Pradeep Subudhi
Consultant Microbiologist
Royal Bolton Hospital

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