Yorkshire doctors transformed lives in Ghana

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FOUR doctors from a West Yorkshire hospital trust who performed dozens of life changing operations in Ghana have been recognised by the British Medical Association.

The volunteer medics from the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs hospitals in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury, helped patients in Ghana who desperately needed help with untreated hernias.

Chris Macklin, Beverley Parker, Hannah Welbourn, and team leader Fawole Adeshina successfully treated 107 patients in Africa as part of the Operation Hernia project.

Operation Hernia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides surgery to patients in developing countries who otherwise would not receive it.

Dr Parker said: “It has been estimated that there are 6.3m untreated hernias in Africa. As a result, numerous preventable deaths and cases of permanent disability occur.

“In just five days we operated on 107 patients, including 19 children, who without the treatment may have died.

“We counted our blessings whilst working in Ghana and were inspired by the patients and staff who demonstrated admirable teamwork, and despite the poor resources had results to be proud of.”

The trip was part of the British Medical Association’s new ‘Doctors as Volunteers’ initiative, which promotes and supports people considering medical volunteering.

The doctors’ work won plaudits from the British Medical Association.

Dr Ian Wilson, Chair of the British Medical Association’s representative body, said: “The importance and significance of charitable work has far reaching benefits not only to the individual, through broadening the skills base of clinicians, but also to host countries or UK communities where help and assistance leaves a positive legacy.

“By showcasing individual experiences, we hope to encourage and inspire those considering voluntary work.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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