Some years ago the ear camps team felt that we could do more than just provide the ear camps. In particular to be more involved with teaching and training about ear problems. It seemed to them that there was a need for a specialist centre where we could base the camps work, do outreach to the local community through primary level ear care workers, work to improve the lot of the profoundly deaf and teach local medics about ear problems and treatment including surgery. We could also test hearing and provide hearing aids to a high standard and teach repair and maintenance. Other agencies are starting to do this but there is still much to be done. We hope that expert volunteers will not only continue to come and help with the ear camps but also be willing to teach and work both in the planned centre and from their home countries. Our vision is for a small but top class centre, using appropriate equipment, treatment and techniques for developing countries and further researching those areas.

INF has generously allocated an attractive plot of land next to its Green Pastures Rehabilitation Hospital in Pokhara. A Swiss partner charity (SON) has remarkably raised the total funds needed for the building itself. We appointed a well-recognised local architectural company with UK links, and its project management team. Formal design work started in 2012, the land dedication and foundation stone laying ceremony was in November 2013 and full scale site work commenced in February 2014. All walls had been erected and roof work started by December 2014 and building work is on target to complete by July 2015. We have continual supervision by full time on site project managers from Nepal and experienced engineers from Europe and Australia. We are using ecologically sound energy sources including solar hot water and electricity and the single story building has in-built seismic resistance and we have alternative water sources available for any shortage of supply.

We have much equipment stored and ready for shipping and are still seeking some further specialist material.

There will be ongoing equipment and volunteer needs. We aim that the centre should be sustainable through a charging system that is based on ability to pay. We will need to run a charitable fund to support the many who are unable to meet these costs and to support training of local staff and training courses.

Surgery and global health: a Lancet Commission, 2014

‘Delivery of surgical care…..plays a fundamental part in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and palliation of a broad range of medical disorders, and is a crucial component of a properly functioning health-care system and a prerequisite for universal health coverage. Today, an estimated two billion people worldwide are without adequate access to surgical care, and a substantial global gap exists between surgical need and the equitable provision of safe surgical care’.

John G Meara, Lars Hagander, Andrew J M Leather

Lancet, Volume 383, No. 9911, p12–13, 4 January 2014

We hope this puts you in the picture, if you would like to be involved in any way please contact us or subscribe to our newsletter.