A team of Texas Children’s surgeons, anesthesiologists and perioperative staff recently traveled to Malawi and Uganda to provide surgical care for children with cancer and congenital anomalies as part of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers’ Global HOPE program. This was one of the first coordinated trips under the new Division of Global Surgery.
Dr. Jed Nuchtern, chief of Global Surgery, Dr. Bindi Naik-Mathuria, pediatric surgeon and Trauma medical director, Dr. Titi Aina, pediatric anesthesiologist, and operating room nurse Anita Hadley worked alongside local surgical teams to provide much-needed surgical care for area children, many of whom had been waiting months for experienced doctors and nurses who could treat their conditions. The team helped complete more than 30 operations, including 10 nephrectomies for Wilm’s tumor, the most common form of pediatric kidney cancer, effectively providing a cure for these children.
“I am so proud to be able to share the talents of our surgical teams by going abroad,” said Nuchtern. “Not only are we able to treat these children who are in great need of surgery, but we are also able to educate the doctors and surgical teams from these countries. The collaborative efforts of Surgery, Anesthesia and the Cancer Center continue, as future trips have already been planned, and we will add to our traveling surgical teams as the Division of Global Surgery grows.”
The Division of Global Surgery, created this past August, expands Texas Children’s ability to help children and women across the globe in low-resource countries and offers pediatric surgery education by providing hands-on instruction and necessary supplies. To build capacity, preliminary Global Surgery efforts are focused on surgical care for pediatric cancer patients and leverage resources, infrastructure and successful global medical programs already in place in sub-Saharan. These include Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) Network, Global HOPE and existing efforts by Texas Children’s Department of Ob/Gyn. Long-term goals for the division include a surgical facility for women and children in Lilongwe, Malawi; expansion of care capacity in Central America; and, ultimately, recognition for Texas Children’s as a leader in global surgical outreach.