Improving Hand Care in the Kingdom of Bhutan

'Helping Hands in Bhutan' is a charity established under the Southern Adelaide Health Institute Inc – Bhutan Fund.

Suzanne Caragianis started the charity as a mechanism of raising much needed funds to support hand surgery and hand therapy in Bhutan, medical supplies, teaching programs and patient surgery in India.

For over ten years, Suzanne has been working closely with Bhutanese friends/colleagues to establish a sustainable hand rehabilitation program for the people of Bhutan. She is now a volunteer with Interplast Australia and New Zealand, who have collaborated with the Royal Government of Bhutan to extend the program which Suzanne established.

Achievements include:

  • Training local doctors in hand surgery techniques and therapy staff in hand therapy knowledge and techniques on our visits to Bhutan.
  • Teaching four certificate courses to the therapy staff in hand/upper limb anatomy, diagnosis and treatment and rehabilitation techniques (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018).
  • Establishing two dedicated hand therapy clinics and a satellite clinic.
  • Donated medical equipment – Stryker surgical kit, nerve conduction study machine, microsurgical equipment and hand therapy supplies and equipment worth approximately $200,000.
  • Supplied two new laptops for the hand therapy clinic and two overhead projectors.
  • Sponsoring a Microsurgery Fellowship, International Conference attendance (three staff) and surgical/neurological skills training in Adelaide for one orthopaedic surgeon.
  • Sponsored senior physiotherapist to attend the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCTP) in 2018, which enabled Bhutan to become a member.

Future Goals

Short and long-term goals include:

  • Providing much needed hand therapy equipment, assessment tools, splinting and exercise materials – which cannot be purchased in Bhutan.
  • Providing more training and sponsorship of physiotherapists, physiotherapy technicians and occupational therapists.
  • Establishing more hand therapy clinics around the country.
  • Teaching advanced hand surgery and plastic surgery courses (teaming with Interplast Australia).
  • Sponsoring patients surgery with complex trauma or burns.

Multiple fundraising events have also been held, which have helped raise the vitally needed funds. Please view the stories for each of the fundraisers held in 2018, 2013 and 2012 to find out more.

You can also visit our 'Stories' page to read about each of Suzanne's Bhutan trips and find out about all the work and achievements over the last ten years.

To enquire about making a donation to 'Helping Hands in Bhutan', please make an enquiry through our contact form.

Please note that 100% of donations go directly to the medical work and equipment in Bhutan. Monetary donations over $2.00 are tax deductible through the Southern Adelaide Health Institute Inc – Bhutan Fund.