We’re delighted to introduce a new link in Kazakhstan, the International Medical Center in Almaty.

Almaty is Kazakhstan’s largest city, set in the foothills of the Trans-lli Alatau mountains.  It was the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997 and has a population of approximately 2 million people.

The IMC is a family medical centre with two practice locations; IMC has 7 doctors (including trainees) and 4 nurses, providing multidisciplinary medical care that meets Western medical standards. 

The Center offers ultrasound, EKG, an outpatient clinic and referrals for CT, MRI scans and other imaging requests, with referrals to Specialists if necessary.

Char Bhanjyang Centre for Health, Khalte, Nepal

2021 has been busy so far for Char Bhanjyang Centre for Health (Swinfen House). 

Miss Prarthana Pun has joined the Clinic and is an experienced Health Assistant, qualified in Radiology and X-Rays. Prarthana has now joined the SCT telemedicine referral system. Her assistant is Miss Punam Pariwar. The centre was established in 2013 and to date has seen around 20,000 patients.

A new compound fence has been placed around the clinic, including very smart new entrance gates. The fence was made possible by financing from the local government.

And on Good Friday, 2nd April, the clinic held a free health camp. A total of 160 patients were seen, including Dental appointments, ECG’s, Ultrasounds and X-Rays.  It is difficult for those of us who can easily make an appointment to see our local Doctor, to imagine that these patients may have walked for hours to get to the Char Bhanjyang Centre for Health.  Certificates were given out to local volunteers and consultants in appreciation for their contributions.  Photos have kindly been provided with permission from Chandra Gurung.

By Georgina Liley

(Georgina Liley is the eldest daughter of Pat and Roger Swinfen and runs the social media for the Trust. Georgina has been involved with the Trust since it’s inception and was a speaker at the 4th International Conference on Successes and Failures in Telehealth, Brisbane, 2004).

Pilot Telemedicine Study in Dhading Province, Nepal

UK’s NRN’s advance drive for running telemedicine service in Dhading

LONDON:- The United Kingdom-based Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) have come forward with a drive to operate telemedicine service in Dhading. The Swinfen Charitable Trust has lent full support to the service which is provided through telephone and internet.

Lord Roger Swinfen is the Director and Lady Pat Swinfen is the Co-Director of the Trust. The philanthropic Trust has been providing health consultancy services in 78 countries across the globe through a network of 800 doctors and experts. Princess Anne is the patron of the Trust.

In this connection, a stakeholders’ discussion was held on Saturday regarding the operation of telemedicine service in remote area of Dhading – Rubi Valley, Gangajamuna, Khaniyabas and Netrabati Dembjong rural municipality. Among the present at the discussion organized under the aegis of the UK Chapter of NRNA and coordinated by ICC member Ramsharan Simkhada were Trust Director and Co-Director, Dhading’s Member of Parliament, Khem Lohani, Province Assembly member Jagat Bahadur Simkhada, NRNA UK Chair Punam Gurung, Parbat Falebas municipality Mayor Padampani Sharma, Katherine Davies, Trustee Major Hugh Bardell, Dhading Nuwakot Society UK chair CB Tamang, General Secretary Dhana Tamang, and advisor Major Bishnu Ghale.

A steering committee was also formed under the leadership of ICC member Simkhada following the discussion. Also included in the committee are NRNA UK chapter chair Gurung, Lieutenant Chandra Gurung, Dhana Tamang of Dhading Nuwakot Society UK and senior vice-president of International Dhading Society Dinesh Tamang.

Coordinator Simkhada shared that the Society has set a target to initiate telemedicine service with a plan of actions within a week. The service would come into operation once the necessary basic infrastructure such as electricity, mobile, computer and internet are available.

Also on the occasion, federal and provincial lawmakers of Dhading had pledged to facilitate all types of support required to operate the service. Local people’s representatives also expressed readiness to shoulder up responsibility of physical structures so as to expand the service in other rural municipalities of northern Dhading.

It may be noted that the Swinfen telemedicine service has been operational in four Bhanjyang areas of Parbat for the past eight years. This is so far the first of its kind service of Swinfen in Nepal. However, this is also available in other parts of the Himalayan country.

At the programme, adviser to the Charbhanjyang Tamu Society Major Krishna Gurung, Captain Deu Gurung and Haru Gurung also shared their experience about their projects.

(Original article kindly translated by Hari Gurung from Tilicho News)

William Harkness 1955 – 2021

We learnt with great sadness of the passing of William Harkness, who was not only an SCT Trustee but had also given his time as one of the Trust’s consultants since November 2009, when he did his first case. He gave his expert consultant advice on 42 cases of paediatric neurosurgery in subsequent years. He was an outstanding specialist, and we were honoured to have him on our team of medical consultants.

William was a retired paediatric neurosurgeon, working for 26 years at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, then as an Honorary Consultant at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

William was also a Past President of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ISPN) and was the ISPN Ambassador for Global Neurosurgery for Children. He was the surgical lead of the Epilepsy Surgery programme both at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. He was an adviser to NHS England for the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service and served two terms on the Council of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons.

William taught for the ISPN and other organisations and was an invited speaker in over 40 countries worldwide. He was a member of the Global Neurosurgery Committee of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) and of the WHO-WFNS liaison committee.

William had a big heart; the world has lost a truly talented man and the Trust has lost a good friend. All of us at the Swinfen Charitable Trust would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and wife, Phillipa.

Order of Australia (OAM) Award to Val Smith-Orr RN

Val is long-standing “Referrer” of patients to the SCT from the clinic she runs in the Philippines, Triple B Care Projects, Inc. . The “B” stands for Burns, Bingot and Bulate (the last two words are Tagalog for Cleft lip/Palate and worms).

Val, a Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist, specialising in burns and plastic surgery, arrived in the Philippines in 2006 intending to stay for 6 months whilst researching for University of Queensland “Feeding children with cleft palate in a developing world” for her Masters – she began helping patients in need in her small kitchen and Triple B Projects was born.  A long way from where Val was raised in Yorkshire, and her post graduate training in burns and plastic surgery at the McIndoe Unit, Queen Victoria Hospital, Sussex. Val left the UK in 1990 and moved to Australia, becoming a citizen in 2000.

Val and her foster daughter Monalisa attended the Australian Ambassador’s residence in Manila on 4th December 2020 for the investiture of the Order of Australia that was awarded in the Queens Birthday Honours of June 8th 2020 “For service to the international community through nursing”.  It happened to be Monalisa’s 15th birthday as well!  Many congratulations Val on this well-deserved honour and Swinfen Charitable Trust would like to say how proud we are of you and all the work that you do.

Monalisa G. Doncillo and Valerie Catherine Smith-Orr (Val)