Bristol 29th December 2015
REPORT ON WORKING HANDS ACTIVITIES IN 2015
1. Three Kathmandu juniors organized to undertake Fellowships in the UK:
a. Bishal Karki, Middle grade Plastic and Hand Surgeon; six weeks Bristol/Bath January to March 2015
b. Mohan Dangol, Hand Therapist; six weeks Bristol/Bath January to March 2015
c. Pramila Shakya, Cleft surgeon; six weeks Oxford/Bristol March to April 2015
2. Delivery of some 300kg of kit and consumables
3. Working trip organized to Kathmandu November/December 2015
5. Change of Trustees – Seamus MacDonald (accountant) has resigned and Nola Mackie has been assumed as Trustee. James Lowther appointed as Charity Accountant
Funds were obtained for two Fellowships, one from the BSSH and one from BFIRST, and these were supplemented by funds from Working Hands to enable us to organize three Fellowships.
Suitable candidates were identified by personal contact – the regular work with the team in Kathmandu has provided good first hand information of the needs of the unit and the team members most likely to benefit from such trips.
BSSH Fellows:17th January 2015, for six weeks:
Bishal Karki: Middle Grade Plastic Surgery Trainee
Mohan Dangol: Senior Hand Therapist
Apart from Clinical duties shadowing DS in Bath, and attendance at Southmead Hospital Hand Unit (Bristol) both were awarded places on The Anatomy Dissection Course (Glasgow, February) and The Instructional Course on ‘Tendon transfers and Paralysis’ (Manchester, January)
BFIRST Fellow:8th March 2015 for 6 weeks:
Pramila Shakya: Senior Trainee, Cleft lip and Burns
This surgeon was attached to Marc Swan, Cleft Surgeon, in Oxford and was also awarded a place at the BAPRAS Burns Meeting (Manchester, March) and the Cleft and Craniofacial Meeting (London, April)
Reports and Thanks letters from the BSSH Fellows have been circulated to BSSH Council.
2. Delivery of Kit and Consumables
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake we were unable to travel to Kathmandu since only recognized relief teams were allowed in. We concentrated on assembling and delivering essential consumables (the Kathmandu team sent a wish list). BSSH Council kindly assigned a one off award of £20000 for purchase of these items, which included microsurgical kit, antibiotics and analgesics and consumables.
Etihad provided generous free cargo allowances and we sent out 100kg of kit with Sarah Tucker, Consultant Hand and Plastic Surgeon In Oxford, in June. A further 200kg was sent out with Mark Cole, a UK based businessman who was travelling to Nepal in October and kindly delivered to Kathmandu.
To date, some £14000 of the allocated 20k have been spent on kit.
3. Working Trip/Surgical programme
The scheduled working trip to Kathmandu and to Lalgadh Leprosy hospital, scheduled for November 2015, was disrupted by a different crisis:
A new proposed constitution was rejected by the southern regions of Nepal which called for a transport strike. This was backed by India, which instituted a blockade to fuel and gas across the India/Nepal border. This has resulted in a relative paralysis of the country, severe shortages of daily goods, gas, fuel and medical equipment and a trebling of prices that coincided with dramatically reduced revenue (This blockade further added to the decline in tourism consequent on the earthquake). The blockade has been in place since early August and is still enforced at time of writing.
We were unable to travel to the south of the country. Janatpur, close to Lalgadh Leprosy hospital, was the focus of some of the worst social paralysis and violence (55 deaths to date). We would have been unable to reach Lalgadh (Internal flights suspended and roads blockaded) and patients would have been unable to come to meet us.
The Lalgadh trip was canceled and instead the team consisted of DS and a Burns Team (Peter Dziewulski and Bruce Anderson). We were able to operate and teach in Kathmandu. The widespread purchase of fuel on the black market, kept in open containers in the combined with obligatory cooking on open fires has resulted in numerous burns.
The civil strife, boycott and blockade are ongoing at time of writing (29th December). This is likely to result in deferment of the next surgical visit until the autumn of 2016.
4. Fundraising activities
The project continues to be supported mainly by Etihad and by the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH).
BSSH kindly provided the regular sum of £2000 per annum (This is renewed on a three year cycle)
Etihad once again generously provided free flights (which would otherwise represent the biggest expense of such trips).
Aviva Healthcare provided a particularly generous donation.
Nola Lloyd/James Mackie wedding June 2015: Numerous benefactors donated to the Charity in lieu of wedding gifts
Other donors large or small, provided a steady income. Other income came from remuneration for DS artwork, from patients and individual donors and from lecturing in schools and to other Charitable societies.
5. Change of (pro bono) Trustees
29th December 2015