Doctors from Wexham Park Hospital have hailed the success of a mission to Zambia where they offered free operations and treatments to some of the country’s poorest people.
Medics from the Slough hospital were among a seven-strong team who spent a week in the Zambian capital Lusaka.
They practised at the Coptic Hospital, run by the Coptic Mission church group, performing a range of treatments including keyhole knee surgery and ankle fusion operations.
Wexham Park consultant orthopaedic surgeon Sherif Isaac organised and led the team after being approached by one of the Coptic Mission’s bishops.
He was joined by Wexham Park general surgeon Akram George and two junior doctors, as well as two consultant anaesthetists and a GP from outside the trust.
The team often worked 12-hour days, running walk-in clinics in the mornings followed by theatre sessions in the afternoons and evenings.
Mr Isaac performed the Coptic Hospital’s first knee replacement operation during the trip.
And he estimated that over the five days the team treated up to 70 people – many of whom would have been unable to afford to pay for their care.
He said: “It was a very rewarding and satisfying experience.
“The patients were so grateful. One had been waiting for more than five years for a knee operation but surgeons performing this surgery in Zambia are few and far between.
“It’s also very expensive and we were offering this service for free.”
The team are now planning to return to Zambia next June, and Mr Isaac is hoping to recruit more colleagues to join them.
“We are looking for people with different specialities,” he said.
“If we can get around 15 people then we can send two teams out to Zambia each year.”