The information evening this year was both entertaining and informative. Vikram Devaraj gave an engaging talk about Uganda, Interface’s role and his recent visit out there in May 2012. His talk covered various aspects of the charity – showing how a small ‘around the kitchen table’ charity like this is having a big impact on the training of surgeons in Uganda. He has helped to develop the plastic surgery training programme, including the assessment and examination of the trainees with Andrew Hodges and George Galliwango (a former Ugandan trainee helped by Interface).
The two new trainees (Martin and Darius), are benefitting from this in CoRSU hospital, thereby showing the ‘sustainability and legacy’ of this charity – one of the reasons why Vikram says he likes this charity so much (whilst sounding like an actor from the spoof Olympic comedy ‘2012’)!
He also talked about the lack of plastic surgeons in Uganda and the surrounding countries – only 3 in Uganda, none in many of its neighbouring countries, compared with 380 in the UK – thus highlighting the importance of the training programme.
On his visit in May, he arrived in Kampala airport at 7am, was picked up by Andrew Hodges at 7.15 am, and was in the clinic seeing patients by 8am! The slides showed an amazingly diverse amount of complex cases that Andrew had been saving up for Vikram – burns, infections and fractures, and all the unfortunate complications that happen when patients cannot access healthcare at the appropriate time.
Vikram also showed a lovely video clip of Andrew and Sarah Hodges dancing (was it Salsa?) in their kitchen; and pictures of George Galliwango, his wife and little boy – great for all the people who have met them through working at the RD&E, and have not seen them for a very long time, to see them looking so well.
So, we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our speaker this year – Vikram Devaraj – consultant plastic surgeon at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital – it was brilliant!