ORH 2019 - The start of this year's mission to Vietnam
The journey took 37 hours. On arrival in the socialist Republic of Vietnam we felt as if time had stood still, a time similar to that which no longer exists in the former East German Republic.
For the very first time the mission this year has taken us to a South Eastern Asian country. In the region of Da Nang, one of the larger metropolises next to Hanoi and Ho-Chi-minh City. We made our way to the Woman’s and Children's Hospital In Quang Ngai where we were heartily greeted. The reason for us to bring our “ know how" to Vietnam was due to a call from the New Zealand Ambassador in Vietnam. “Operation Smile" has agreed to collaborate with Operation Restore Hope.
The new situation in foreign surroundings was a challenge for the mission as many things are different. We had enormous support from the Vietnamese side and the mission to help the many small patients was planned from 05.04. - 12.04.2019.
This year’s mission takes place in “ Hospital Quang Ngai" – a Woman’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of Quang Ngai province. It is a small city about 2.5 hours south of Da Nang. Our work together is professional and supported by Nguyen Dinh Tuye, the director of the hospital. He and “Operation Smile" Vietnam are helping us to provide as many children as possible with a new smile.
Dr. Tristan de Chalain, founder of ORH New Zealand and Dr. Christoph Wachsmuth the founder of ORH Germany, have been working together for the last 21 years to treat poor children in need in the developing world. Up until now they have helped children mostly in Manila, the Phillippines, but also in Bangladesh. The international team this year is a large group of over 30 persons and in just on one week the maximum number of children will need expert help. Plastic Surgeons, Anaesthetists, nurses , technicians and other, non-medical volunteers have come together with the common aim of helping children not only with cleft lips and palates, but also children with deformities of the hands and feet, tumours and the sequelae of burn scarring. This will, hopefully, increase their quality of life and future prospects. There is little time to provide all of this as in only one week the mission ends. Only excellent logistical planning and management can accomplish this and in fact on the day of screening 270 prospective patients are seen by the team, each family hoping for a better life! The team scrutinizes each patient in terms of the their ailment and their fitness for surgery, cardiac and respiratory problems together with infections must be eliminated, and only then are the surgical lists prepared for the coming days.
In the 4 days of surgery, at least 100 operations are planned!
Foto unten: Mr. Bui Duc Tho - Director of National Fund for Vietnamese Children in Quang Ngai, Mr- Huynh Gioi - Deputy Director of Quang Ngai Department of Health Dr. Christopher Wachsmuth - ORH Deutschland Associate Professor, Dr. Lam Hoai Phuong - Team leader of Vietnamese Medical Team and Board member of Operation Smile Vietnam’s Medical Council Dr. Tristan De Chalain - ORH Neuseeland Ms. Nguyen Thi Hai Duc - Program Director of Operation Smile Vietnam