£1m to im­prove global sur­gi­cal care for chil­dren

In­vest­ment: North-east cou­ple to ex­pand or­gan­i­sa­tion to six more

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS - BY KIERAN BEAT­TIE

A char­ity founded by the son of north-east oil ty­coon Sir Ian Wood has an­nounced a mil­lion­pound in­vest­ment in chil­dren’s sur­gi­cal care as the or­gan­i­sa­tion launches plans to ex­pand to a fur­ther six coun­tries.

Kids Op­er­at­ing Rooms (Kid­sOR) was co-founded by Gar­reth Wood and his wife Ni­cola in Jan­uary this year af­ter the pair de­cided to ded­i­cate all of their time to help­ing oth­ers.

Work­ing with David Cun­ning­ham, the for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of Scot­tish chil­dren’s hospi­tal char­ity

“Chil­dren can’t ac­cess care when they need it”

The Archie Foun­da­tion, Mr Wood’s or­gan­i­sa­tion has im­proved the qual­ity of surgery for thou­sands of chil­dren in the de­vel­op­ing world through the cre­ation of modern, safe op­er­at­ing the­atres.

And now, fol­low­ing Mrs Wood’s an­nounce­ment last week that the char­ity would cre­ate eight new op­er­at­ing rooms in com­mu­ni­ties from the Ama­zon to the An­des, Mr Wood has re­vealed plans to pro­vide 12 new spe­cial­ist op­er­at­ing the­atres across East Africa.

The de­vel­op­ment will mean the phil­an­thropic cou­ple’s char­ity could pro­vide an ad­di­tional 12,000 oper­a­tions chil­dren each year by end of 2019.

Mr Wood said: “Ni­cola and I are im­mensely proud to be work­ing in part­ner­ship with lo­cal hos­pi­tals, sur­geons and min­istries of health to bring a sus­tain­able and highly ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion to the chil­dren of their for the re­spec­tive na­tions. In far too many coun­tries, chil­dren can’t ac­cess care when they need it.

“Whether a bro­ken bone or can­cer that needs ur­gent surgery, chil­dren shouldn’t die from these is­sues just be­cause the lo­cal sur­geon doesn’t have the right tools for the job.

“Our work changes that for­ever. It’s an in­vest­ment in lo­cal peo­ple and it’s a vote of con­fi­dence in their skills as sur­geons too.

“Over the last year we have been work­ing hard to in­stall new op­er­at­ing rooms, but also to de­velop our in­tel­li­gence on where the best sur­geons are work­ing, where we can make the big­gest dif­fer­ence and where we can have a sus­tain­able im­pact.

Mr Wood said that in­vest­ment in surgery is vi­tal in the de­vel­op­ing world as more young lives are taken from sur­gi­cally treat­able con­di­tions than the more well-known ill­nesses and con­di­tions such as Malaria, HIV and tu­ber­cu­lo­sis.

He added: “Far too many chil­dren live lives of aban­don­ment, un­able to at­tend school or are in pain be­cause of a sur­gi­cally treat­able dis­abil­ity or in­jury. That has to stop, and I am proud Kid­sOR are help­ing to shine a light on this global in­jus­tice but also, the sus­tain­able so­lu­tion too.”

HELP­ING HAND: Kids Op­er­at­ing Rooms’ Gar­reth Wood has an­nounced plans to pro­vide 12 new spe­cial­ist op­er­at­ing the­atres in East Africa

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