A VOLUNTEER medical team led by workers from South Tyneside has changed the lives of thousands of people in one of the poorest areas of India.
In just one week, the group from South Tyneside District Hospital and other NHS units across the region performed more than 200 operations, and treated over 2,000 patients.
They also handed over three clean-water filters, which will help to supply Dervan, on the west coast of India, for many years to come.
Dr Sanjay Deshpande, consultant anaesthetist at the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields, had the original idea for the annual medical mission, and says he is delighted with the work.
He said: “This was our eighth visit to Walawalkar Hospital and it is, arguably, our most successful, productive trip yet.
“We had an excellent team, and as well as performing orthopaedic, general surgery, plastics, urology and ophthalmic operations, we were able to assemble unused equipment, which we had brought with us and to repair, check, and maintain other items. We also found time to do some teaching and to distribute donated clothing, toys and walking aids in the hospital and surrounding villages.
“All in all, we were able to make a fantastic difference to many people’s lives in a very short space of time.”
This year’s trip was largely funded by money from a sell-out ‘Passage To India’ charity concert at Temple Park Centre in South Shields, last October, which raised £9,250.
Anyone interested in making a financial contribution to the project, or donating books, clothing and equipment, can contact Dr Deshpande on 202 4046. For more information, visit www.topopdoc.com