Coronavirus (234) Fwd [chifa] COVID 19 Share your science and your situation

26 March, 2020

Dear HIFA members,

I am forwarding below a message today from our child health and rights forum, CHIFA. Retired (but ready to return too NHS service) paediatrician Tom Hutchison is a volunteer CHIFA moderator, working in a team of volunteer professionals led by Tony Waterston, also a retired (but very active!) paediatrician. Join CHIFA:


Here is Tom's message:

"Here is the UK it feels like being on a deserted station platform. The air is clearer than ever but in the distance. I hear the sound of a train approaching, bringing disease death and disability that will start tumbling out.

We know that when this is all over we will never be able to think about human life on this planet in the same way again.

Even now we are watching as the masters of the global economic systems, so tied up in our previous ways of living, desperately assert that money and the stock market are what really matter

On this Forum we share science and humanity. Even more we need to share our best ideas without paywalls

I do regret my own misplaced sense of entitlement that In the UK we had a good system of health and the money and largesse to go abroad and sort out other peoples problems. When you are brought up in a country that has sugar coated its colonial history it is hard to think otherwise

Now the problems have come back to bite us and our 'flying round the globe' habits

So this little post is to reach out to all those on CHIFA to share their experience and their ideas and their courage both now but in the years ahead as we try and recover from this disaster and build a more resilient planet with sustainable health systems.

I am a CHIFA moderator. I am in lockdown and good health. I still have a license to practice so I have signed back onto the staff bank at my local hospital for when the staffing crisis bites. I can see the new Respiratory Distress ward over my garden fence.

My kids are home working and locked down my grandkids are home schooled. I have have had so many conference calls in the past week. Thank goodness for the internet. I don't know how vulnerable telecoms and social media are but where would we be without them

News from round the world floods in but I would like to hear more from the health staff directly. My colleagues in the USA please. I want to hear from you all not your politicians. My colleagues In Korea and China what happens after the wave levels off. My colleagues in science how about the diagnostic tests and the vaccine possibilities and challenges. My colleagues in Sierra Leone. your experience after meeting the Ebola challenge. My colleagues in South Sudan. What is happening? colleagues everywhere tell me what is happening

Stay well and lets build a better future through science and compassion

Tom Hutchison

Co moderator CHIFA

CHIFA profile: Tom Hutchison is a writer, athlete, and grandparent. For 30 years he worked as a UK Paediatrican in child protection and disability. After London Diploma in Tropical Medicine he has worked in Palestine, Tajikistan, Congo and Sierra Leone. Email address:


"Let's build a better future through science and compassion" - These are powerful words that really resonate with me. Thank you Tom, and thank you all who support HIFA and CHIFA, and especially those of you who are working on the front lines of health care.

If you would like to share your experience of this pandemic, please do so:

(PS I am aware that HIFA is more busy than usual. If you are receiving messages one by one, and would prefer to receive a daily compilation, just let me know: ]