Treatment Camps

December 2014
A4WH has now selected the site of the hospital it will construct in Nepal. During the December camp Dr Hodgson inspected several potential sites in rural and remote Nepal for the hospital to determine the area of greatest need. The hospital will be constructed in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the district of Dolakha. It is anticipated that this hospital will provide a base for A4WH teaching of local doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedical health workers. Plans are currently underway for the hospital. Construction will recruit as many Nepalese workers and local materials as possible to further boost the local economy. The whole A4WH team are very excited about the prospects of this new venture.

Dr Sahar Pakmehr, an Australian obstetrics & gynaecology registrar joined A4WH for her first trip to Nepal. Dr Pakmehr provided several valuable lectures to trainee Nepalese doctors at Dhulikhel Hospital. These lectures were very well received and they will contribute to the increasing standards of medical care in Nepal.

June / July 2014
This camp was another highly successful one. Many women underwent surgical correction of their advanced pelvic organ prolapse in Eastern Nepal and Dr Hodgson provided valuable teaching of these techniques to Nepalese gynaecology surgeons. Many of these surgeons are now able to perform operations themselves for women suffering from prolapse of the uterus, bladder and bowel. An important part of the philosophy of A4WH is to empower local Nepalese medical teams to provide medical and surgical care independently. We are now well on the way to achieving this aim.

Dr Hodgson also began discussions for the next major A4WH project: the construction of a hospital in remote Nepal. This exciting development will provide an invaluable facility in an area of need in Nepal. The site of the proposed hospital will be chosen later in the year.

September / October 2013

Dr Marcus Carey joined the A4WH team for this camp. Dr Carey is a Melbourne-based urogynaecologist with an outstanding international reputation. He provided enormous assistance in teaching local Nepalese gynaecology surgeons on the latest techniques in pelvic floor surgery. In addition to practical demonstrations, Dr Carey undertook lectures for Nepalese surgeons at The Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu. He discussed the challenging topic of the surgical management of vaginal vault prolapse.

Dr Hodgson provided teaching to several local Nepalese surgeons in remote eastern Nepal where a uterine prolapse camp was held. These surgeons are now able to provide independent surgical care to many women suffering with basic forms of pelvic organ prolapse.

The surgical lectures and practical demonstrations were very warmly received and on future trips Dr Carey and Dr Hodgson will provide further practical teaching to allow more complex pelvic floor procedures to be performed by local Nepal gynaecology surgeons. Australian volunteer nurses will provide teaching to local Nepalese nursing theatre and ward staff to deliver high standards of nursing care to the women undergoing this surgery.

April 2013
A pathology and physiotherapy training camp was held at Dhulikhel Hospital. Dr Hodgson was joined by Dr Sandy McColl, head of the University of NSW Rural Medical School at Port Macquarie. Dr McColl provided training in pathology and clinical aspects of physiotherapy to local Nepalese medical and physiotherapy students. This is likely to become a regular teaching event. Dr Hodgson undertook clinical assessment of a number of patients suffering with severe genital prolapse and fistulae in preparation for the next surgical camp in Nepal. This camp will take place in September and October 2013.

January 2013
A successful prolapse and incontinence camp took place at Dhulikhel Hospital.  18 demonstration surgical procedures were performed on women with severe forms of uterine and vaginal prolapse and urinary incontinence.  Dr Hodgson also provided several surgical lectures to Kathmandu University professors, surgeons and nursing staff.

June 2012
A three week gynaecology screening and ultrasound training camp was based in the district of Kaski in western Nepal.  A4WH provided a group of ten volunteer workers including two nurses,two ultrasonographers, three doctors, and three ancillary workers.

March 2011
The March 2011 Prolapse Treatment Camp was based in Solu Hospital in the district of Solukhumbu, Nepal.  Two surgeons, two anaesthetists, two theatre nurses and an ancillary worker spent two weeks providing surgery and education to women suffering with prolapse and incontinence.

Solu Hospital is a small institution built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1974.  The hospital has no regular operating functionality and all equipment and medications were provided by A4WH.

January 2011
This camp was based in Dhulikhel Hospital, Nepal.  A4WH volunteer surgeons undertook training of local gynaecology surgeons in techniques of prolapse and incontinence surgery.  New surgical procedures including urethral sling insertion for urinary incontinence were introduced to the hospital.

A4WH is grateful to the Ramsay Health for donations of medical supplies for this surgical camp. 503 women were screened for prolapse and other conditions.  83 operations performed on a total of 37 women.  81 of these operations were for treatment of prolapse or urinary incontinence.  Two local Nepalese gynaecology surgeons and four local nursing staff underwent surgical training during the camp.  Pre-operative Quality of Life Surveys were performed for all women undergoing surgery; the surveys were followed up for these women at six and twelve months’ intervals.

1015 patients were screened and treated for a wide range of gynaecological conditions.  Eight Nepalese midwives were trained in the skills of obstetric ultrasound.  A4WH staff delivered three further gynaecology lectures to the medical staff at Dhulikhel Hospital.

Published by

Dr Ray Hodgson

Dr Ray Hodgson

Dr Ray Hodgson is a specialist gynaecologist and pelvic reconstructive surgeon, and the founder of Australians for Women's Health. His major interests within gynaecology are pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and infertility. His medical practice is based at Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast. He is affiliated with Port Macquarie Base Hospital and Port Macquarie Private Hospital but also conducts regular surgical teaching sessions in other hospitals throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

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