In-country work

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In our last newsletter, we highlighted how we are increasing our work in-country due to the border closures. Read on to learn more about our interim treatments and our new and exciting partnership in Vietnam.

Interim treatments

Where possible and appropriate, we are now facilitating some in-country interim treatments and minor surgeries for a number of our cases. Although the plan is still that the most complex part of the children’s surgery/treatment will occur in Australia, our in-country approach will alleviate some of the immediate pain and suffering for the kids in question, and expedite their treatment when they finally get to Australia. 

Five-year-old Delma from Papua New Guinea is an example of this approach.

Delma was severely burnt when she rolled into an open fire when she was eight months old.

In normal, pre-Covid times, we would have brought Delma to Australia for the entirety of her treatment with us.

Delma, five from PNG.

However, with the ongoing borders closures, we have facilitated multiple procedures at Kundiawa Hospital in PNG to release some of Delma’s contracted skin and give her some relief now.

Our in-country representative, Maryanne, who is supporting Delma and her family through the treatment, says, “Delma is doing well. She is resting and recovering in hospital”.

We will continue to support Delma throughout her recovery, and then when it’s possible, we will bring her to Australia for the rest of her surgery and treatment

Vietnam in-country surgery and treatment

In an exciting new venture, we are developing a joint program in Vietnam. Working with Australian orthopaedic surgeon Professor Ton Tran (who treated young Chien in late 2019), we are now facilitating selected orthopaedic surgery in-country.

Professor Tran with Chien, who received treatment in Australia in 2019.

Originally from Vietnam himself, Professor Tran has a long history of undertaking missions to Vietnam to carry out orthopaedic surgeries for disadvantaged children and to train local surgeons.

Over this time, Professor Tran has built up a small team of like-minded surgeons at The Hospital of Traumatology and Orthopaedics and The City Children’s Hospital, both in Ho Chi Minh City, and St Paul’s Hospital, in Hanoi.

With continued support (albeit remotely) from Professor Tran, and now with Children First Foundation on board, this team can continue and further develop their critical work.

“Children First Foundation is thrilled to be joining forces with Professor Tran and his local team. We will help expand and strengthen the work that has already commenced so that we can assist more disadvantaged children in Vietnam, desperately in need of orthopaedic treatment”, explains our CEO, Elizabeth Lodge.

As well as funding support, our in-country representative Mai Vy, will also provide the children and families with vital pre-surgery and post-surgery support, ensuring the best possible outcome for each child.

“We are overjoyed to be partnering with Children First Foundation”, said Professor Tran.

“With the Foundation’s support and expertise, we will significantly increase our impact. We will also improve the child’s medical journey. By establishing comprehensive pre-and post-care plans, including orthotics and rehabilitation, we will be able to optimise the outcome of each surgery.”

10-year-old Ngoc will be our first child on this program. You can read about her, by clicking the link below.


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