Set up around 4 years ago by Future Faces, the Craniofacial Centre Nepal, in Janakpur, Nepal, was created to make sure that children with facial trauma, cleft palates and cleft lips in underprivileged areas of the world could be treated properly. One of Future Faces’ aims is to also provide training to aspiring craniomaxillofacial surgeons in places that need it.
Right now, there is a big need for help in Nepal, and this is where a lot of support is going. A lot of the money collected is being used towards developing a new larger hospital in Janakpur, which will change the lives of even more people.
Future Faces creates a sustainable future for people in underprivileged areas. Senior experienced surgeons can continue to teach others their skills and knowledge, ensuring that surgery will not only have the best results but will always be available to those that need it.
Leading the way in cleft surgery and surgical training in this area, surgeon Tony Markus is an international advisor who established Future Faces and continues to work with Future Faces. He helps train and develop the skills of surgeons in underfunded areas around the world. At Intouch Global Foundation, we are talking to Tony on a regular basis to see what Future Faces has been up to and what their plans moving forward are.
Here is what Tony told us about the work he is doing in Nepal with Future Faces.
Nepal is currently celebrating the Hindu festival of Dashain. his is a major religious festival in Nepal, and it isn’t unusual for regular life to come to a standstill for a few days while celebrations occur. Therefore, whilst this happens, the centre is waiting to start up again. There are 15 cases waiting to be seen at the moment, plus lots of trauma causes to deal with.
However, on a positive note, the monsoons are over in Nepal and Sunil Sah, another Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon who originally came from Janakpur, is planning on going over in November for two weeks to oversee the running of the centre. This will help make things easier and will mean that Sunil can see what else needs doing to complete the hospital.
Another positive is that Covid-wise, things are looking to be under control in the region. Plus, thanks to the support from IGF, the centre can make use of modern operating equipment. The centre has benefited from new scrub sinks and diathermy machines. Sinks are essential to surgeons so they can stay clean, prevent germs and lessen the chance of infections in patients. Diathermy machines are vital in reducing blood loss during surgery.
Training surgeons is no simple feat. It takes years of hard work and when operating on something as delicate as the face and cleft lips and palates. People also need dental training, too. In countries like Nepal, it can be hard to gather the funds to do this.
So, Tony was very happy to tell us the news that plans are in place to hire a paid surgical trainee from the beginning of the New Year. Their contract would be for 3 years, plus a bonus of 2 years if things go well. They will be both taught and trained, in Janakpur as well as centres of excellence in India and Europe.
Not only that, but to help with training and general sustainability of knowledge sharing, there will be a good rotation of trained surgeons arriving every couple of weeks from Europe, New Zealand and India.
Books from the old hospital are being transferred to the new hospital. The library contains books to help train in areas such as maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, craniofacial surgery and other surgical specialities
A further large donation of books, again provided by Book Aid International, recently arrived at the Centre
Future Faces is making an amazing difference to people who need comprehensive craniomaxillofacial surgical care. As you can see from this blog, any kind of support has a hugely positive impact.