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Queen’s Hospital doctor backs life-saving campaign after Nepal trip

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 December 2016

Dr. Harry Lynch

Dr. Harry Lynch

SURAJ RATNA SHAKYA

A doctor from Queen’s Hospital is calling on the public to back a life saving campaign following his experience in Nepal earlier this year.

Harry overseeing staff nurses testing out resuscitation procedure on a dummyHarry overseeing staff nurses testing out resuscitation procedure on a dummy

Dr Harry Lynch, a paediatrician at Queen’s, spent six months in Nepal after a devastating earthquake hit the country in April leaving thousands displaced and in need of medical treatment

“There had been an earthquake, I wanted to see if there were systems in place or if they needed the labour and man hours to help,” said Harry.

“I worked in the displaced placement camps. The campaign sort of fell into it when I was there.

“I was training midwives from different villages, I would do two hours teaching a day, the main thing was there was just two rooms for every aspect of the labour and delivery.

A mother and her new-born baby in Dhading District HospitalA mother and her new-born baby in Dhading District Hospital

“In the summer it’s more difficult because it becomes very muddy and some places become very isolated, that’s why the midwives need more training.”

Although harry expected the conditions of Nepal’s medical care to be below the standard of the UK’s, he was still surprised by what he saw.

“It was so different, in the UK everything is all thrown away and replaced with new sterile equipment.

“I didn’t expect the facilities to be as bad as they were but the staff were a lot better than I thought they would be.

“In terms of resuscitating babies they had enough for one normal size baby and one premature baby.”

Since returning in September Harry has got on board with VSO’s campaign to help future volunteers like himself to deliver training to local medical staff in developing countries.

“VSO let you go and spend some time in one place and try to assess what the needs are, you can have a much bigger impact spending time in one place, you form relationships and address the problems.

“It was clear early on the issue was delivering babies. I spoke to loads of people and got in touch with them and got involved in the training.

“It was my first big proper voluntary humanitarian project.”


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