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Kingsbridge Healthcare Group Supports Operation Childlife

18th, Aug 2021

Kingsbridge Healthcare Group is delighted to be able to support Operation Childlife with a donation of £5000.

August 2021

Operation Childlife - OCL Essentials

Set up by Prof. Martin Corbally, Head of Surgery, RCSI Medical University Bahrain, and active since 2004. It was officially registered as an Irish Charity 2008.

Aims: To bring Irish paediatric surgeons to the poorest areas in Vietnam, Tanzania and Mongolia (2020, Covid delayed) and provide surgery to those children who may otherwise have poor life expectancy. To offer advice and training in all aspects of surgical – medical-anaesthetic and nursing care of children in these countries.

Irish surgeons donate two weeks of their holiday time to these projects. To date the average spend is 22k€/ year for the programme, paying flights and accommodation. Childlife is raising funds to put itself on a more permanent administrative footing and expand its programmes.

Notable achievement to date in Vietnam

  • Setting up and mentoring Paediatric Open Heart Surgical Programme at Children’s Hospital #2 (CH2) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Prior to this, 500 children died each year in HCMC alone due to lack of access to safe and timely cardiac surgery for congenital cardiac defects. Currently 2 pump cases performed each day.
  • Setting up and mentoring Paediatric interventional cardiology at CH2
  • Setting up and mentoring Interventional Radiology at CH2 and in the past two years, at City Children’s Hospital, HCMC.
  • Setting up and mentoring a Paediatric surgical oncology programme at CH2
  • The above required focused training of Vietnamese, CH2 surgeons, doctors and nurses in Ireland (close to total of 40 over 3-4 years)
  • 3 cardiac surgeons
  • 2 oncology surgeons
  • Cardiac ICU and Surgical ICU nurses
  • Cardiac and Surgical Intensivists
  • Paediatric Cardiologists
  • Paediatric Anaesthetists
  • Pump technicians
  • Infect disease specialists
  • Cardiac and General OT nurses

More recently OCL has facilitated training in Bahrain of:

  • 1 Paediatric neurosurgeon
  • 1 Paediatric Surgical Oncologist
  • 1 Paediatric Interventional radiologist

Operations in Vietnam:

Full cardiac team visit each year for one week

  • 2 Paediatric Cardiac surgeon
  • 1 Cardiac OT nurse
  • 1 Paed Cardiac Anaesthetist
  • 1 Paed Cardiologist

Full Paediatric Oncology Surgery team who visit twice each year

  •  1 Paed Surgical Oncology Surgeon
  • 1 Paed Anaesthetist
  • 1 Paed Interventional Radiologist
  • 1 Surgical trainee
  • 2-6 medical and nursing students (funded by RCSI Bahrain)
  • 1 Paediatric Neurosurgeon
  • 1 Paediatric Urological Surgeon

There are a total of 15 visits each year.

Tanzania

In Tanzania Operation Childlife have initiated several programmes since 2008 including:

  • Orthopaedics
  • Urology
  • General and oncological surgery
  • Infect Diseases
  • Radiology
  • Pathology

Notable achievements:

  • Many children's’ lives saved.
  • Raised the standard of cancer operations for children
  • Raised the standard of Urology and Orthopaedic procedures and practice
  • Improved standards of lab in histopath and Infectious Disease.

Mongolia

OCL has agreed to provide a surgical team twice each year to Ulaan Bataar. This followed a review of facilities in 2019.  Unfortunately, COVID has prevented this.

Our hope is to commence this programme in 2022 as follows

April - May 2022

  • 1 Surgeon
  • 1 Anaesthetist
  • 1 OT nurse

August - Sept 2022

  • 1 Surgeon (trained by OCL and from CH2)
  • 1 Anaesthetist
  • 1 OT nurse

Operation Childlife hope to introduce Paediatric eye surgery in at least one of these locations and have entered into an agreement with the Jordanian Red Crescent to assist them at their dedicated hospital in Amman. This provides surgical care for the Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan and will also require us to assist with general paediatric health care in the camp. It is expected that they can return to full operational status in early 2022.

ALL volunteers are experts in their field, donate their expertise, time and skill freely. The Charity just pays for their economy airfare to and from the clinical site, and hotel accommodation.  All return imbued with the spirit of altruism but also better equipped to deal with complex patients in their home environment. OCL aims to promote this sense of giving back amongst our nursing and medical students (RCSI Bahrain ).

To date Operation Childlife has been funded by private donations, some from the surgeons involved, the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in Vietnam and a once off grant from Irish Aid in 2009.

The donation from the Kingsbridge Healthcare Group will be used exclusively to improve and, in many cases, save children's lives in some of the most poor countries.

Operation Childlife has continued to support paediatric institutions in Vietnam and Tanzania, and have been preparing a hybrid of improved virtual consultative services and in-person operational and training missions for early 2022, as well as a revisit to Mongolia, postponed since early 2020, and evaluate new requests for intervention within refugee settlements in the Middle East


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