June 17th, 2024

Operation Childlife held its annual Colloquium in April 2024. At this event it was our pleasure to update our volunteers, partners, supports and friends, about our recent activities and future plans as outlined below.

Thanks to the support of our donors and partners, and the exceptional work of our volunteers, Operation Childlife continues to successfully deliver on our mission to provide optimal surgical, anaesthetic, medical and nursing care to infants and children of low- and middle-income countries. In 2024 we are celebrating 20 years since the first mission to Vietnam in 2004. For information on the 2023 medical missions, and the types of surgery our teams perform, please click here. During 2024 two trips to Tanzania have already taken place and, one – two additional medical missions are expected for Vietnam, Tanzania, Mongolia and Jordan.

We are also planning a lot of educational activities adjoining or separate to those medical missions, which are in themselves training focused. There will be a Paediatric Acute Surgical Support (PASS) training programme (please click here for a PASS summary by Dr Keith Johnston) and a Masterclass in Surgical Oncology in Tanzania, and a Symposium on Surgical Oncology in Vietnam. Students from Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) Medical University of Bahrain will join trips as observers as will a team of Italian doctors funded by a Rotary group in San Severo, Puglia. We also hope to launch our OCL Virtual online Consulting service shortly, this will support and expand on the remote support many of our volunteers already give to our hospital partners in-between missions. Two new Operation Childlife Travel Fellowships will be awarded in partnership with the RCSI. Dr Danielle McLaughlin, one of the first recipients of this programme, inspired us with her presentation at the Colloquium, sharing her experience of an Operation Childlife mission to Mongolia and the training and research she continues to work on with the team there. To view a copy of Dr McLaughlin’s presentation please click here.

We are so grateful to all our volunteers and partners for making these missions a reality. We are proud to work with all our partner hospitals as well as the Christina Noble Charitable Foundation (CNCF) in Vietnam and Mongolia, Their Lives Matter/ Tumaini La Maisha (TLM) in Tanzania, and the Red Crescent Societies of Bahrain and Jordan, (BRCS / JRCS), and Atlantic Humanitarian Relief, in Jordan. We also have strong on-going relationships with RCSI and RCSI Medical University of Bahrain. Special thanks to one of our newest partners, ESTHER Ireland who have granted us accreditation for our partnership with Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, and through HSE Global Health, funding for the PASS course in Tanzania.

Thank you all again for your invaluable support, as one of our volunteers Prof. Paul Losty noted at the Colloquium, winning teams achieve dreams, and this is certainly in evidence at Operation Childlife.