Westmead surgeons donate their skills to help Indian children

A team from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is in India this week to help children run — some for the very first time.

They will achieve this by performing surgery and rehabilitation on 60 children with limb deformities at a hospital on loan from tea company Goodricke to charitable organisation Howrah South Point.

‘‘I am aware with the skills I have, which I give for free, I can change the direction of a young person’s life,’’ said The Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s senior staff specialist of orthopaedics, Dr Matthias Axt, who is leading the nine-day orthopaedic aid trip to India.

It is his fourth visit to Chalsa, where a team of 11 Australians and one German will treat children aged one to 12 with, predominantly, club feet (or talipes equinovarus) — a congenital birth defect that causes one or both feet to turn inward and downward.

‘‘Although we have had challenges, we have had no failures,’’ said Dr Axt, who has been completing operations free of charge on underprivileged children and adults since his registrar days in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1991.

This has included providing his services at Mother Teresa’s Leprosy Centre at Titagarh.

Pick up this week's Parramatta Sun for more on this aid trip.

INDICATIONS FOR CLUBFOOT SURGERY

■ Disability

- function/balance

- cosmetic appearance

■ Social impact

■ Pain

THE TEAM IN INDIA

■2 physiotherapists;

■3 surgeons (one from Germany);

■2 anaesthetists;

■2 anaesthetic nurses;

■2 scrub nurses;

■1 rehab physician.

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