Wirral headteacher sees life-saving work of hospital in Nepal

Wirral Globe: John Clark with Dr Bimal Dhakal, director of Kanti Children’s Hospital during the visit John Clark with Dr Bimal Dhakal, director of Kanti Children’s Hospital during the visit

A HEADMASTER from Wirral has been to Nepal to see life-saving work of the charity his school supports.

John Clark, from Birkenhead School, visited the Kanti Children’s Hospital as part of the school's commitment to So The Child May Live – a Liverpool charity working to support health care for sick children in Nepal.

While there, he saw improvements that have been made in treatments thanks to equipment funded by staff, pupils and friends.

He saw how the hospital's elecrtic dermatome, a piece of equipment bought by the school at a cost of nearly £6,000, was improving results for badly burned children.

Mr Clark said: "In the past four years we have raised £6,740 for So the Child May Live.

"Most of the money was spent on an electric dermatome for the Kanti Children's Hospital in Kathmandu.

"I have just got back. I met the Director of the Hospital, Dr Bimal Dhakal, plus two of the consultants, and visited a surgical ward and the burns and oncology units.

"It was a moving and, at times, shocking experience.

"I handed over a cheque for £1,050, a proportion of funds raised from our Perfect Pitch concert last summer, which saw the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform on the school’s cricket pitch.

"This brings our contribution to almost £8,000.

"I was able to see the dermatome, which we bought two years ago, and meet the surgeon, Dr R P Chaudhary, who had used it that morning on a young burns victim, whom I then saw recovering on the ward."

So The Child May Live draws on the goodwill and expertise of medical staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Mr Clark was accompanied by Professor Barry Pizer, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Alder Hey, and his wife Jenni who also happens to be School Nurse at Birkenhead School.

Both are trustees of the charity, which provides equipment, training and development help for the hospital in one of the most beautiful, yet poorest places on earth.

The focus of support is, at present, on helping the hospital to improve services in childhood cancer, burns, child development and advanced paediatric life support resuscitation training The charity also supports a health clinic in Jaganathpur, in the south of Nepal, the only medical facility for miles around and fully funded by So The Child May Live.

Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries with a per capita GDP of only $1500.

Provision of health services is constrained by low government spending, rugged terrain and lack of health education.

Life expectancy in Nepal is 67 Years and almost half of the population is under 14 years old. Infant mortality is around 45 deaths per 1000 births.

Only half of the population has access to safe drinking water and around the same proportion consumes less than 30% of the recommended calorie intake.

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