President Peter Hynes wasted no time in introducing us to our presenter in Amanda Hough to the podium.

Interplast

During the first few minutes without PowerPoint Amanda explained to us about a trip she had undertaken to Borneo.
She went with a number of other health personnel who worked non-stop on patients
  • A little back ground is that the people of this area supported the Aussie troups in WW2
  • This area restricted the supply of oil to the Japanese during this time
  • She candidly mentioned that the area had head hunters. I presume she meant historically.
  • The hospital was near the jungle and was built in 1950’s style with equipment of about the same era
  • There was an amazing “Jungle Telegraph” when the Doctors arrived people turned up with their patients
  • The patients were typically burns and cleft pellets. The burns were a consequence of life style. Ie lots of gathering around the camp fire for cooking or warmth.
  • People almost always walked and were prepared to wait days for treatment.
  • They brought lots of equipment with them for their use and for the hospital when they left.
  • Amanda learnt a lot about triage and how to map options. People would just sit and wait.
  • They were aware of the major benefit from the Doctors and conversely these health people knew the “Drill”
  • With Cleft pellets there seemed a lot but the percentage was similar to here in Australia except that in Australia they are always “fixed” soon after birth.
  • The burns were very severe as they were almost from Kerosine or Hot water as of the proximity of peole to the cooking fires.
  • An important point was that there would almost always be no post operative care so a complete job was always considered. Of course burns would take many repeat operations and grafts.
  • The focus for everyone was GO-WORK-Go Home. Ie the work was hard and long with no breaks.
  • While there the Doctors do a lot or training of the local health professional which leaves a long standing expertise for continuity of care for the patients.
  • Amanda then talked about Turia Pitt who was caught in a bush fire near Uluru. She was severely burned and has had many operations of skin grafts. Turia now does a lot of speaking about the beautiful work of INTERPLAST.
INTERPLAST has had over 600 Volunteers with 450 programs to 24 different countries.
And a few more numbers 31,000 Consults and 19,000 life changing operations

ROMAC

Amanda quickly told us a little about ROMAC but her main concentration was on Interplast
She mentioned Moira Kelly and her twins who are doing really well now.
President Peter thanked Amanda for the update on Interplast and ROMAC
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