Suzanne just returned from another very successful trip to Bhutan with Interplast Australia and NZ. She was fortunate to be joined by Dr Nicola Massy-Westropp from the University of South Australia, who is an expert in upper limb anatomy and a great hand therapist! Also hand therapist Birgit Sven, attended for the third time in week 2, and then stayed onto assist the local therapists to undertake post-operative rehabilitation.
Birgit completed some great splinting workshops and Nicola ran anatomy teaching to our team of 10 local therapists, several who had travelled 3 days by road for the opportunity to learn! Suzanne completed tutorials on sensory re-education, sensory equipment and assessment, and wrist evaluation/ rehabilitation. There was also had some fun practical sessions on kinesiotaping, dry needling, and surface anatomy of hand and shoulder.
Suzanne also had the opportunity, along with Dr Mark Moore, to visit with the new Minister of Health, Her Excellency Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo, who has great vision and desire to improve health care in Bhutan. She is extremely supportive of our program and the long term relationship we have formed to assist Bhutan in its capacity building, especially in the area of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and hand and upper limb rehabilitation. Suzanne also met with Madam Chime Wangdi, Secretary General from the Tarayana Foundation and well known for their incredible charity work in Bhutan, especially with youth.
Through our 'Helping Hands in Bhutan' charity via Southern Adelaide Health Institute – Bhutan Fund, run by Suzanne and supported by SA Hand Therapy, we have been able to donate a significant amount over the past year (approximately $28,000). We have donated therapy equipment, furniture and a new computer to establish a new and standalone hand therapy clinic in Mongar (Far East). Also some basic hand therapy equipment for Gelephu (south) where a new regional trauma hospital has been established and hand therapy supplies and exercise equipment for the main hand centre in Thimphu at JDWNR Hospital.
In addition, funds raised and donated have enabled us to help sponsor Gangtey, a Physiotherapist to attend the International Hand therapy Congress in Berlin and also Tshering Dorji, Physiotherapy technician to attend the Asian Pacific Congress in Melbourne, March 2020. Generous donations from friends, patients and the Richmond Lions Club has allowed us to purchase much needed burns pressure garments and scar care which leads to far better outcomes for these patients, many of whom are young children.
Last but not least a huge thank you to Orfit who donated valuable splinting thermoplastic and a splint bath to Bhutan.