A radiographer from Dorset County Hospital has been making a difference to those less fortunate

Linda Chappell, who has worked at the Trust for 19 years, travelled across the globe with the Kenya Orthopaedic Project (KOP).

Exploring Global Health Opportunities (EGHO) have been working with the charity Medical and Educational Aid to Kenya (MEAK) to deliver annual orthopaedic projects in Nanyuki, Mombasa, Kitale, Nyahururu and Marsabit since 2009.

During the projects, the team have donated essential equipment and developed programmes for education and training in trauma, recognition and management of sick patients and patient safety.

EGHO prides itself on the two-way process of teaching and learning during projects, the working relationship with local hospital staff and the long-lasting friendships which have been forged.

Through donations, KOP provides trauma surgery, free of charge, to help the large number of people in Kenya who need orthopaedic surgery but who cannot afford to pay for it.

Linda travelled to Nyahururu County Referral Hospital with a small team of orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, operating department practitioners, scrub nurses, physiotherapists and an administrator.

Linda said: “It’s an amazing project, I would very much like to return and participate in another trip.

“On day one we saw a lot of patients and did a lot of x-rays to try and determine who would benefit the most from our help.

“On the second day we starting operating and that continued all day, every day, for the rest of the week. Some days we were working about 13 hours to help as many people as possible.

“The team saw about 150 patients and operated on 25. It was hard to have to turn people away at the end of the week, who would have benefitted from surgery, as we ran out of time.

“One of our patients was an eight-year-old boy who everyone fell in love with.

“He had fallen in a ditch and a cow had fallen on top of him dislocating his hip about six months prior.

“Another charity arranged for him to travel from the north of Kenya to meet with the KOP team.

“He was such a smiley, happy boy, despite his injuries. It was a difficult surgery but the surgeons managed to get his hip back in place.

“Not long after I returned home we were sent a picture of him walking properly which was so satisfying to see.

“Surgery in that part of the world is just unaffordable to so many. They don’t have the luxury of an NHS.”

For more information about the Kenya Orthopaedic Project, visit https://egho.co.uk/projects/kop/