This November we visited the Gaza strip where we screened over 70 children and completed 19 very successful surgeries. We managed to follow up on many cases we had treated the year before, and were over the moon to see everyone recovering well. Some children went on to receive the next phase of their treatment and our new cases await our return in May 2016. As always, we were very lucky to have along a fantastic team of nurses and surgeons who were kind enough to give up their jobs and families for the week to help the children of Gaza. We are looking forward to seeing our patients in May and hopefully a few new smiles.
In February this year the Little Wings, surgical team travelled to Reyhanli on the Turkey/Syria border. We were lucky enough not to have any issues with the transport and clearance of our surgical equipment and had access to a fantastic temporary medical facility to carry out our screening clinic and surgeries. This was our first mission to the area where we found a great need for surgical intervention. Whilst we came across various congenital orthopaedic conditions, a great number of the cases we saw were Syrian children bearing injuries of war.
In the short time we were in Reyhanli we screened over thirty children and successfully completed six complex surgeries. We continue to follow our patients, who are all doing great! We are looking forward to returning in the near future.
In April, Marc Sinclair travelled to Tbilisi, Georgia to carry out an workshop focusing on the Ponseti technique, a non-surgical method used to treat congenital Club Foot. A number of doctors and medical staff attended the event, which proved to be a huge success.
Following this, September saw the surgical team travel to Georgia, where we were welcomed by the SOCO foundation, a local charity, founded by Sandra Roelofs. SOCO foundation were instrumental in providing patient lists, assistance with customs clearance for our equipment, accommodation and moral support. We were also joined by a fantastic team of local surgeons, very keen to share knowledge and ideas with us, with a view to providing the best possible care for children in and around the area.
After a two day screening clinic in Tbilisi, the team travelled seven hours across the country to Batumi in order to begin surgery at the Medina hospital. During a gruelling five days we successfully completed thirteen surgeries on children from in and around the region, some from as far away as Armenia and Azerbaijan.
November already! Our annual mission to Gaza, came around very quickly.
Always a very poignant trip, however this year, we were much more closely witness to the devastating effects of war and the dire conditions families are living in, in the area. Pictured left, is a young lady who visited the European Gaza Hospital for a consult with us, regarding the injuries she and her father sustained from explosions and falling masonry. Sadly, many of the children we saw had similar injuries. This year we operated on twenty children who are now recovering well, and some waiting for follow-up surgeries. We hope to return to Gaza again soon to provide more life changing surgical assistance to children with congenital orthopaedic conditions and those who have sustained injuries through trauma. We are of course looking forward to catching up with some of our brave patients, to see how they are adjusting to life after surgery. Special thanks, as always, go out to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund for their assistance during our mission.