A small team made up of surgeons, nurses, trainees and anaesthetists travelled to The Cleft Hospital, Gujrat, Pakistan, seeing more than 350 patients and operating on more than 80 children during the visit arranged by OPSA.
The team travelled to Gujrat for a 10-day visit between 10 and 19 October 2014 to help teach and train surgeons and nurses to look after children with cleft lip and palate deformities. The Cleft Hospital, Gujrat, Pakistan provides free service to these patients. The team consisted of cleft and plastic surgeons, including Mr Chris Hill from Belfast and myself. The senior nurses Laura Cave, Clare Weaver and consultant anaesthetist Dr Shahid travelled from Northern Ireland. In support of Cleft Hospital, both Laura and Clare raised £5,000 towards this camp. Dr Zahid Rafique, the lead consultant anaesthetist from Hull, who is a regular member of the team, also attended the trip.
Several trainees joined the team to improve their skills. This included a senior local trainee from Multan, Pakistan, Neil Brierly, from Hull and senior trainee Mr Jeremy Richardson, who has just joined as a consultant from Melbourne, Australia.
The trip was very successful. We were able to see more than 350 patients and managed to operate on more than 80 children. The work that is done through The Cleft Hospital, not only provides international standard treatment to these patients but also provides a great training opportunity to young surgeons from both Pakistan and abroad. When I travelled from the UK, I brought two trainees with me and during this week they were able to gain a lot of experience through the 10-day trip.
The work that is done by our team is to support an important cause and we are grateful to the people, organisations and institutions that support us to carry out this work.