Operation Childlife History

The Paediatric Exchange Programme between Children’s Hospital Number 2 in Ho Chi Minh City and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) was established in 2011 following a visit by Professor Martin Corbally to the region, by invitation from the Christina Noble Foundation. It was a humanitarian programme based on the concept of knowledge and skills transfer and acquisition between two institutions and aims to improve the standard of paediatric care and quality of life for disadvantaged children in Ho Chi Minh City.

Each year teams of surgical, medical, radiological, anaesthetic and nursing specialists from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) and elsewhere travel to Vietnam to perform lists of surgical procedures. The cases are complex surgical cases such as anorectal anomalies, oesophageal replacements for caustic burns and treatment of congenital abnormalities. Such cases are rare in Ireland and it is therefore a mutual learning experience.

The medical team has also been working on an upskill programme with the surgical department in Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, fostered from a relationship with the paediatric oncology department, driven by Dr. Patricia Scanlan in Muhimbili and her ex-colleagues at OLCHC and  through whom OCL has delivered expertise and operational resources to support her unit.

A new collaboration with the Children’s Hospital at Angkor, Cambodia has been initiated and the first clinical team will visit Angkor to carry out a number of procedures in November 2017. Details of the trip will be published afterwards.