BMJ4Life, a BMJ Group charity initiative, is working with UK registered charity, PaLM, to provide books for the medical school library in Mtwara, a region in southern Tanzania.

What is BMJ4Life?

BMJ4Life, BMJ Group's charity initiative, launched in February 2010 and has been going from strength to strength. It gives BMJ Group staff the opportunity to get involved with charity in a work capacity. The members of the BMJ4ife team have recruited numerous champions and volunteers from each department to help them with fundraising and volunteering events.

Feb 2010 - Feb 2012 charities
Cancer Research UK


These two charities (one UK based, one international) were voted for by BMJ Group staff in 2009 following a poll Stella sent around.

Feb 2012 charities



At the end of 2011, BMJ4Life wanted to open up the chance to provide another very worthwhile charity with its support. From a long list of charities, suggested by BMJ Group staff, Mind was the winner of our December 2011 poll. Mind, along with PaLM, will now benefit through fundraising and other activities from March 2012.

The decision to continue our support of PaLM was due to the amount of practical help we have provided through numerous projects, many projects are still ongoing and BMJ4Life would like to see them through.

Who are PaLM?

PaLM is described as a 'motorway' linking work in Mtwara, Tanzania with work in London. PaLM links movement of health expertise, resources, and finance. The aim of PaLM is to support the growth of a medical school, the Clinical Officer Training College (COTC), by training doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Dr Paula Baraitser, Dr Sue Mann, Dr Hussein Kilwanila, Mr Rak Patel, and Mr Grant Smith are the founders of PaLM and work closely with the BMJ4Life team and Group volunteers.

BMJ4Life-PaLM projects have achieved… 
1. The building of a medical library in Mtwara

2. The initiation of a web-based peer-to-peer learning partnership between UK med students and COTC students
3. The production of 2 handbooks for courses in sexual health

Working with BMJ4Life – a view from PaLM (by Dr. Paula Baraitser, Oct 2011)

PaLM was a tiny charity (especially compared with Cancer Research UK!) when we started our relationship with BMJ4Life. Our ad-hoc ways of working were also quite different from the professional structures within the BMJ Group. Although we are still a small organisation today, we have benefited in so many ways from this collaboration over the last 18 months.

Through the BMJ Group’s generous sharing of professional expertise, we have developed PaLM within an astonishingly short time in numerous ways – doing basic but essential tasks such as setting up a skeleton website, training volunteers to set up a website for our Tanzanian partners, and on expert searching for health learning resources.  An editorial team lent a hand with producing 2 handbooks for courses in Sexual Health Training and Research Methodology. The high level of professionalism from BMJ staff has generated excellent results in all of these projects and significantly increased PaLM’s standing and credibility as a charity.

In addition, publishers contacted through BMJ Group networks have donated over 200 books for the Clinical Officer Training College (COTC) in Mtwara this year.  Our latest success story is the blossoming student networking project initiated by an article in Student BMJ. Thirty UK medical students followed a call to partner with their COTC colleagues in Tanzania. Since July 2011, a growing number of one-to-one tutoring sessions and teamwide clinical lectures are being organised between UK and Tanzanian students via the MedicineAfrica website.

The money raised through the efforts of so many BMJ staff will also help to improve access to learning resources for COTC students, who routinely have poor internet access and need to share books. Once qualified, these students are the key providers of healthcare in Tanzania, so the work of BMJ4Life may well have repercussions over a long time and in many parts of this wonderful country!

Who is Mind?

As the leading mental health charity for England and Wales, Mind is a force for change. Mind campaigns vigorously to create a society that protects good mental health for all and ensures that those with experience of mental distress are treated fairly, positively and with respect. With one in four people likely to experience a mental health problem every year, Mind believe it is critical to raise awareness and promote good mental health for the benefit of all members of society. Mind believes that no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. They’ll listen, and give support and advice. Mind will push for a better deal and respect for everyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind provides direct support to more that 280,000 people each year through their network of local Minds.

Your support counts

First of all, thank you to all who are directly involved, and those who have supported and helped out on our BMJ4Life projects and events. With your invaluable help, we have been able to raise over £12,000 in the course of the last 2 years.

Our fundraising target for February 2011 was £5,000 - this was reached as we raised £5,665.70. 
Our fundraising target for February 2012 was £10,000 – this was also reached as we raised almost £12,000!
Funds raised to date: £13,000 (May 2012)