Clinicians at Alder Hey save countless lives each year, but their remarkable work doesn’t just happen in Liverpool.
The Trust’s Department for International Child Health (DICH) reaches children across the globe and uses the collective and individual expertise of its members to improve healthcare in developing countries.
Members of the DICH come from a variety of specialisms across the Trust and have experience of working and researching overseas just like Atif, who shares his experience of working internationally:
The DICH is led by retired Consultant Paediatric Oncologist Professor Barry Pizer, who believes international work not only has great outcomes for children and staff in low- and middle-income countries, but also improves the skills of healthcare professionals at Alder Hey.
Professor Pizer said: “The DICH supports Alder Hey’s vision of a healthier future for children and young people by developing mutually beneficial, practical relationships with providers of paediatric healthcare and treatment, and their communities, in other countries around the world. We believe that together, we can better tackle inequalities in international child health.
“Staff who take part in international placements have the opportunity to expand their skills in a radically different setting and return to Alder Hey with an enhanced perspective and a wealth of new experience.”
“Our international work is increasingly being recognized as a valuable contribution to global health” says Atif Rahman, Professor of Child Psychiatry & Global Mental Health and member of the DICH. Professor Rahman, recently returned from a six-week trip to Pakistan where he delivered lectures to trainee psychologists, psychiatrists, and public health professionals, has been awarded the International Contribution Award 2022 by the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Allied Professionals (IACAPAP) for services to Low- and Middle-Income countries.
You can find out more about Nasim’s work in Pakistan as part of the International Child Health department below:
A team led by Alder Hey Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Mr Ram Dhannapuneni, has also recently returned from Namibia. Whilst there, Ram and his accompanying team performed lifesaving surgery on nine children over five days and helped to develop the skills of local surgeons to ensure an enhanced level of care for future patients in the country. The camp, set up by Healing Little Hearts charity, was Ram’s 29th international trip. He said: “Our international trips give a chance at life to the children. If we don’t make these trips they probably wouldn’t survive, or their families would have to raise huge amounts of money to be sent overseas. By training the local teams there, we can leave a legacy from our trip. The surgeons there are now able to perform some of these operations themselves in the future.”
Find out more about Salim’s experience working with Healing Little Hearts:
Healing Little Hearts also supported a recent Cardiac Screening Camp in Kisii, Kenya. A team led by Dr. Salim Jivanji, Kenyan Born Paediatric Cardiologist working at Alder Hey, was able to screen over 20 children and young people with suspected heart conditions, including six babies. In addition, the team was also able to organise cardiac surgery for two Kisii children in a cardiac camp in Nairobi. The medical staff at Kisii Hospital were immensely welcoming of our support, something we will continue to do both in Kenya and virtually.
Members of the DICH also help to explore commercial opportunities internationally. For example, over the past 12 months, colleagues have worked with an external provider to create a virtual platform that can deliver an International Peer to Peer Second Opinion Service.
“We would encourage our clinicians engage with their own personal global networks to promote and explore clinical and non-clinical collaborations.”
To find out more about the DICH and gaining international experience, contact Tracie Cousineau at [email protected].