In early 2020, Suzanne Caragianis and Dr Tim Proudman (Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon) worked with the Royal Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Health, to negotiate the training of Bhutan’s first Plastic Surgeon, Dr Sonam Jamtsho.
This was made possible through the most generous support from the eminent Dr Raja Sabapathy, who agreed to commence intensive training with Dr Sonam Jamtsho at Ganga Hospital in India on the 10th February 2020.
In March 2020, we invited and sponsored Tshering Dorji, the joint head of The Hand Therapy Clinic in the main hospital (JDWNR) in Thimphu, to attend the Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand and Hand Therapy (APFSHT). Gangtey (Physiotherapist) was supported by HVO and the APFSHT and was also sponsored and invited. Unfortunately, Tshering was unable to attend due to COVID, but Gangtey did attend after traversing through a rockfall to get to the airport!
Since we have been unable to physically travel to Bhutan in 2021, Interplast Australia and New Zealand have been running some excellent online courses for local therapists and doctors. In addition, Suzanne has had weekly contact with patients, therapy staff and orthopaedic surgeons advising on patient management and therapy.
'Helping Hands in Bhutan' helped pay for Dr Ugyen Thinley (Orthopaedic Surgeon) from Bhutan to attend the ISPNSCON Nerve Congress in Coimbatore India in February 2020, Dr Sonam Jamtsho's microsurgical course and has sponsored numerous therapists to undertake online courses, some of which have included:
- Masterclass on Pain - NOI Australia (25th – 27th June, 2021);
- Canadian Hand Therapy Association Annual Conference (12th – 14th June, 2021);
- Conference run out of the USA on Flexor and Extensor Tendon Repairs of the Upper Limb (May 2021), and;
- Brachial Plexus Irritation Associated with Scapular Pathomechanics and Instability (May 2021).
This would not have been possible without the support of kind donors and sponsors. One of our major donors has been the Richmond Lions Club, SA, along with NOI Australia.
Suzanne and Dr Tim Proudman presented to the Rotary Club of Clare in February 2020 about our Hand and Plastic Surgery program and seeking support to assist Dr Sonam Jantsho and they generously donated $3,000. This helped with Dr Sonam Jantsho living expenses, whilst commencing plastic surgery training with our esteemed colleague, Dr Raja Sabapathy.
We also have many boxes of donated goods ready to send once the borders open! Thank you again to all our patients for their kind donations.