A dedicated charity is on track to build and ship 30 fully-equipped operating rooms from Dundee to hospitals throughout Africa by the end of this year.
The charity, Kids Operating Rooms (KidsOR), focuses on providing dedicated facilities for children’s surgery, helping to save and improve the lives of tens of thousands of children.
The Scots charity, which has a warehouse at Kingsway East in Dundee, was founded by Nicola and Garreth Wood in 2018 with the aim of installing 120 paediatric operating rooms across the continent by 2030.
Each room typically contains 3000 components and is created by a team of biomedical engineers and architects, working with teams in-country so that each aspect meets the needs of local surgeons.
Kingsway East Dundee Warehouse
So far containers have been shipped from the Kingsway East Warehouse in Dundee to Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Zambia, Nigeria and Mozambique.
Director of Global Operations and qualified architect, Dave Tipping, heads up the charity’s Dundee warehouse and lab and has been working with the KidsOR since it was founded in 2018, leading the design and delivery of the Operating Rooms.
He said: “The team here is phenomenally committed. We have a singular focus on providing extensively researched and tested rooms that will provide maximum benefit to the recipient hospitals, its surgical teams, and thousands of, often desperate, families.
“Everything we do is around providing a sustainable solution. We’re here to ensure surgeons in the African continent, as well as those in countries we’ve worked in previously in South America, are able to utilise each life-saving and life-changing items for the long-term.”
A further five containers are set to be shipped during May and June.
The charity focuses on aiding countries with critically low or even no facilities available for children’s surgery with offices in Edinburgh and Nairobi, Kenya, along with a network of engineers and surgeons throughout Africa installing and testing equipment.
KidsOR keep children in mind with the design of each Operating Rooms while including colourful paintings of animals along the walls with the aim to help children feel calm and reassured when going into surgery.
Nicola Wood, Co-Founder of KidsOR, said: “We’ve now given more than 36,000 children access to life-changing or life-saving care. Globally more children die from conditions easily treated through surgery, than from HIV, malaria and TB combined. We’re helping change that by providing the equipment and training for paediatric surgery.
“Yet there is still so much to do and we won’t stop until we achieve our mission: a world where every child has equal access to safe surgery. Each container leaving our Dundee hub is a step closer.”