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Professor Corbally examining a child

About Operation Childlife

Operation Childlife was established by members of the medical community in Ireland in 2007 to provide developing countries with an opportunity to access paediatric surgical and related expertise provided by a number of Irish hospital consultants, doctors and nurses.

The project began with an invitation from the Christina Noble Foundation, based in Ho Chi Minh City, to provide paediatric expertise for the local hospital. Following this request, Professor Martin Corbally visited Children’s Hospital Number 2 to establish the clinical and local contacts.

When both parties understood the requirements and were happy to proceed, Professor Corbally obtained cooperation from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC) hospital management to support the venture. Partial funding was also received from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

There is a number of significant benefits attached to Operation Childlife. While our team members are performing their procedures they are observed and provide training to the indigenous medics who quickly learn how to carry out the same procedures thereafter. While our team performed over 100 heart operations in 2009-2010 the local surgeons under our guidance have been sufficiently trained to carry out over 70 similar procedures without our intervention.

In addition, our team has learnt from the overseas team and has brought new skills and ideas back to Ireland.

Although Vietnam was the first part of the journey and our work there will continue the Vietnamese doctors and nurses are now sufficiently skilled to allow us to progress to other markets in need. In late 2010 we commenced operations in Tanzania and will offer support to Cambodia later in 2017.