Scots charity installs 50th operating room to help sick kids abroad

The new facility opened at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana on Monday.

Scots charity installs 50th operating room to help sick kids abroad Holyrood PR

A Scottish charity that helps provide life saving surgery to children in some of the world’s poorest countries has installed its 50th operating room.

Kids Operating Room (KidsOR), founded by husband and wife team Garreth and Nicola Wood in 2018, opened the new facility at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana on Monday.  

It is the first time the hospital has had a paediatric surgical facility, which has been kitted out with two state-of-the-art operating rooms featuring more than 3000 pieces of equipment shipped from the charity’s base in Dundee. 

Garreth Woods, co-founder and chairman of KidsOR, said: “This is a particularly proud day for Nicola and myself and the rest of our dedicated team here at KidsOR. When we started Kids Operating Room, we did so to give every child access to safe surgery.

“This is a remarkable achievement since our inception in 2018, particularly as for nearly half of this time we have been living with a global pandemic. 

“By installing this, our 50th operating room, we have increased the annual capacity for safe surgery to be 30,000 life-changing operations for children every single year.

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“Our vision is a world where every child can access care they need so that common conditions such as appendicitis or a broken leg do not have to result in a child’s death or a lifetime of disability. 

“By 2030, we aim to have installed 120 dedicated children’s Operating Rooms across Africa, providing essential surgery to more than 635,000 children”

Dr Michael Amoah, senior specialist paediatric surgeon and head of the paediatric surgery unit, said: “Before the new ORs were installed, we did not have a dedicated operating room for paediatric surgery, so we had to compete with adults, meaning we were only able to do around 40 to 45 paediatric procedures in a month. Most of these were emergencies.

“The state of the theatre was not paediatric-friendly. We had to use adult-sized tools and equipment to operate on small children. I believe the KidsOR Operating Rooms will provide a safe environment for our patients and will shorten the waiting time for both electives and emergencies, thus reducing complications and mortality.”

Dr Amoah added: “I pursued medicine out of passion to help the sick to get appropriate medical care, and I will now be able to do that to the best of my ability thanks to KidsOR and the new Operating Rooms.”