In March 2008 I had the great fortune to participate in a surgical expedition in collaboration with the Impact Foundation. This is a charity whose objective is to reduce disability around the world by advocacy, education and intervention. Their West Sussex office is experienced in arranging for UK-based surgeons to go to centres in Asia and treat patients in the fields of orthopaedics, ENT and ophthalmology.
I travelled with my good friend and colleague, Mr Ali Mearza FRCOphth, to 2 locations: Ashuganj, capital of Brahmanbaria province to the East of Dhaka, and Chuadanga in the West. At Ashuganj, we stayed on Impact’s floating hospital. This houses accommodation, clinics, a laboratory, a ward, a surgical suite with 2 operating tables, and a seminar room on the top deck. At Chuadanga we found a dedicated hospital building in the conventional sense, set in the grounds of a local nobleman’s house that had been donated to Impact some time previously.
In both settings, the staff were utterly dedicated to serving the population and the patients passed smoothly and effectively through the system from registration to post-operative examination and discharge.