The British Nepal Otology Service (BRINOS) are a group of specialist Ear Surgeons, Nurses and Anaesthetists who travel regularly to Nepal to run Ear Camps. They set up a temporary Operating Theatre in order to do high volumes of Ear surgery, teach Nepali surgeons how to perform the operations and see many outpatients. Typically they will do about 120 major ear operations in 8 days between 4 surgeons.
Consultant Mr Angus Waddell, working at The BMI Ridgeway Hospital, is one of the Ear surgeons involved with the Nepal Ear Camp's. The most recent took place just last November (2015). We caught up with him before his visit to find out more:
How did you get involved with Ear Camp & BRINOS?
I was first asked to be involved about 10 years ago by another Ear Surgeon, Mr Robin Youngs from Cheltenham. We had done an Ear Camp together in Burma and trained surgeons there, Robin put me in touch with Neil Weir, the founder of BRINOS and this next trip in November 2015 will be our fifth one together. This will be Camp number 57 for the BRINOS charity since being founded in 1988.
There are usually two or 3 camps per year, in March and November when the risks of overheating, monsoons or catching Malaria are at their lowest. There have been Ear Camps in towns all over Nepal. We are currently building a hospital specifically for the treatment of deafness and other ear diseases in Nepalgunj in the West of Nepal. BRINOS is still in need of £30,000 to finish the project but are into the partly finished hospital now and we will be doing our operations in the patient waiting area for the time being. There will be 1 or 2 Nepali surgeons and 4 from the UK, one anaesthetist and 2 nurses. All of the other staff to run an Ear camp (about 20 people) will be local Nepali people. We hope to be able to hand over the running of the hospital to the team in Nepal and help to train other teams in other parts of Nepal.