31 Aug “Facing the World” – Life-changing surgery for severely disfigured children
Facing the World offers new hope to severely disfigured children in Vietnam. The focus of the charity is on surgical training. This is achieved by offering fellowships to Vietnamese doctors. In the past two years, 36 Vietnamese doctors have come to the UK for training. The fellowship training is supplemented by in-country medical missions where complex surgeries are carried out by multidiscipline teams of UK and Vietnamese doctors. We believe this approach offers a viable and sustainable solution. We work closely with our Vietnamese partners to identify their needs and resource them through cutting edge medical equipment donations. By developing this process, the charity will eventually be able to extend it to other developing regions.
Fellowships in the UK for Vietnamese doctors are key to our overall success. Visiting doctors observe and learn new techniques and approaches. These are then built on during missions where UK and Vietnamese teams jointly operate and put the new approaches and techniques to use.
In-country Training is delivered by our multidisciplinary team during annual medical missions to partner hospitals in Vietnam. Smaller, targeted missions covering specific surgical topics have been trialed with resounding success. The teams are made up of the same doctors who are involved in teaching the Vietnamese fellows when in the UK.
Equipment needs are identified in collaboration with our partner hospitals in Vietnam. Grants are sought by the charity to enable donations.
Why Vietnam…The occurrence of birth defects in Vietnam is estimated in some instances to be 10 times higher than in neighboring countries. This is thought to be partially due to the legacy of Agent Orange. The charity was initially invited to Vietnam in 2008 and subsequently began running annual missions to Da Nang General Hospital. During these missions, our doctors operated on children with craniofacial defects and provided on-site training for the local team. In 2014 Da Nang General Hospital and the charity hosted the first national Vietnam Craniofacial Conference. The following year, the charity took the decision to significantly ramp up activities in Vietnam. We sought and received key government support from the Ministry of Health, the Fatherland Committee, the Politburo and Vufo. We have also been granted official status in Vietnam through Paccom. The charity has subsequently signed an MOU with the Red Cross and Direct Relief, one of the world’s largest humanitarian foundations.
The charity has begun intensive collaborations with the Hong Ngoc and Viet-Duc University Hospitals in Hanoi and is now looking to add further hospitals to its program. The charity has a Vietnamese patron and two long term financial supporters giving it a sound platform from which to continue to expand its services throughout Vietnam.
The support we receive from donors will help us continue to offer fellowships and run missions thereby training doctors, and also donate more vitally needed medical equipment.
Our vision is to train 60 doctors over 5 years and perform 18,000 life-changing operations. We are more than half way there!
I have been recently honoured with the title of German ambassador for the charity.
More information can be found under → facingtheworld.net