Mel­bourne schol­ar­ship help­ing pe­di­a­tri­cian ‘make life bet­ter’ in Bhutan

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

ABhutanese-born pe­di­a­tri­cian is par­tic­i­pat­ing in a schol­ar­ship at Mel­bourne’s Monash Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal which is hoped will save count­less lives in his de­vel­op­ing home­land.

The Royal Aus­tralasian Col­lege of Sur­geons is pedan­tic when con­sid­er­ing the re­cip­i­ent of the pres­ti­gious Rowan Nicks In­ter­na­tional Schol­ar­ship.

It has deemed Bhutanese-born pe­di­a­tri­cian, Dr Karma Sherub, a wor­thy win­ner, and the 42-yearold is de­ter­mined to make a dif­fer­ence.

“(It’s) not only (about) sav­ing lives - there are chil­dren who are liv­ing with de­for­mi­ties - chil­dren (who are) some­times born with con­gen­i­tal anom­alies,” he said.

It’s hoped the in­ten­sive 12-month train­ing pro­gram would pro­vide Dr Sherub with a range of new skills to cope with the huge de­mand for trained physi­cians in Bhutan.

Nes­tled be­tween the Asian gi­ants China and In­dia, Bhutan is a king­dom of around 700,000 peo­ple.

The coun­try is de­vel­op­ing, and the health sys­tem con­sid­ered poor by west­ern stan­dards.

Upon his re­turn to Bhutan, Dr Sherub will be­come the only qual­i­fied pae­di­atric sur­geon in the coun­try and the schol­ar­ship will help him achieve his life-long dream.

“From my very child­hood days, I wanted to be a doc­tor be­cause in my coun­try, (the) health­care sys­tem is strug­gling (and) very poor,” he said.

While in Mel­bourne, Dr Sherub is be­ing men­tored by em­i­nent pae­di­atric sur­geon Dr Chris Kimba.

Dr Kimba said in Aus­tralia, a con­di­tion such as a uri­nary tract block­age was rel­a­tively easy to treat, but it can be lifethreat­en­ing in de­vel­op­ing na­tions.

“In Bhutan they’re (con­di­tions) un­likely to be picked up be­fore they’re born,” he said.

“They’ll nor­mally ar­rive at the hospi­tal very in­fected and very sick and then Dr Karma doesn’t even have the in­stru­men­ta­tion yet to be able to re­lieve the block­age.”

The ob­jec­tive of the Rowan Nicks schol­ar­ship isn’t to sim­ply help in­di­vid­u­als in their own ca­reers, but rather to pro­vide the nec­es­sary skills to teach oth­ers and share the knowl­edge.

It’s a chal­lenge Dr Sherub was ready to em­brace.

“I can not only pre­vent deaths, I can try to make life bet­ter for our chil­dren back home.”

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