Tipperary Nurse Set For Ethiopian Mission With Operation Smile

Niamh Ryan, from Lattin, Co.Tipperary, is preparing for a life-changing trip to Ethiopia where she will be putting her medical experience to good use. Niamh, who works in South Tipperary General Hospital will be volunteering for Operation Smile Ireland on their upcoming surgical training rotation in the city Jimma where Operation Smile Ireland have helped established a full time rotation to train local health professionals in the life-saving surgery and necessary care.

Operation Smile Ireland is a registered Irish charity and part of a global alliance of Operation Smile organisations bringing safe, unnamedsustainable treatment to children with facial deformities in the developing world. Operation Smile has provided free surgery to more than 200,000 children around the world since 1982 with the help of over 5,000 dedicated medical volunteers. Operation Smile is present in over 60 countries and completely changes children’s lives, one smile at a time.

Every three minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is born with a cleft. These children typically have difficulty eating, speaking, socialising and smiling. They are often shunned and rejected by their communities. InIreland, corrective surgery is easily available, but in the developing world 75% of cases go untreated. Without outside help, thousands of children with facial deformities worldwide will never have the medical care they need to live a normal life.  It can take as little as 45 minutes and €240 to perform the life-changing surgery that will change a child’s life forever.

This will be Niamh’s 15th overseas mission with Operation Smile and she had this to say about upcoming mission; This will be my 5th trip to Ethopia and my 4th trip to Jimma.  Jimma is the 2nd city of Ethopia and it is a poverty stricken city but the people are beautiful and proud and stoic.  I am so looking forward to it. Not only will we be providing safe surgical cleft care to patients on this rotation we will be providing education and training to local health care professionals including final year surgical residents and nurses across the operating room, recovery room, pre and post op wards in Jimma Hospital. I am so proud and honoured to be part of this team. I have worked with many of these nurses and doctors before and I am looking forward to catching up with them again and hopefully they with me. As I affectionately say “ I am off to dear ole Jimma” again.”

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