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Business ethos drives global growth at Scots charity


Global health charity Kids Operating Room, who are focused on delivering safe surgical services for children across the developing world, will today announce expansion into four West African countries.

The charity, founded by philanthropists Garreth and Nicola Wood, has already grown its global impact in twelve countries across East Africa and Latin America since forming at the start of 2018.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019: Garreth Wood, co-founder of children’s charity KidsOR, will today announce a further expansion of his charity to create six specialist children’s Operating Rooms in four West African countries as he speaks at the region’s College of Surgeon’s annual conference in Dakar, Senegal.

Following a year of significant growth in 2018, Mr Wood will outline how the approach of bringing a business-minded ethos to his charity work has allowed rapid and sustainable growth with maximum impact achieved in a cost-effective and efficient way.

The first of the new West African Operating Rooms will be in Burkina Faso, where three units will open to help local doctors transform the care available to children in the impoverished country. Hospitals in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and The Gambia will also benefit.

Speaking later today, Mr Wood, will say: “I am an entrepreneur, an investor and I am a philanthropist. What I lack in clinical knowledge I believe I make up for with business acumen, a desire to create effective global change and experience of brining innovative solutions to problems.”

That business approach has allowed KidsOR to grow rapidly and, by the end of this year, Mr Wood is confident they will be working with local surgeons to provide 22,000 operations for sick kids each year.

“Investing in surgery works” he continued. “More children die from surgically treatable conditions than from Malaria, HIV and TB combined. And far too many children live lives of abandonment, in pain or unable to attend school because of a surgically treatable disability or injury. That has to stop, and I am proud that KidsOR is helping to shine a light on this global injustice but, also, the sustainable solution too.”

Professor Yawe President of the West African College of Surgeons welcomed this investment in local surgeons, commenting: “We welcome news of these initial investments in West Africa by KidsOR and look forward to working with them to further invest in the highly skilled surgeons of the region to ultimately benefit our nations’ children.”

Work is already underway on the new Operating Rooms with all of them on course to open in 2019.

A game-changer in the third sector, KidsOR provides dedicated, specialist facilities and equipment for children’s surgery. The UK charity works with local surgeons and their teams to design and build operating facilities they can use to transform the care available to children in low- and middle-income countries.

Including the projects announced today, KidsOR currently has surgical facilities in, or in development in, sixteen countries.

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