iPath visit Tansen

As a result of Swinfen Telemedicine and iPath joining forces Dr Gerhard Stauch and Mrs Monika Hubler, co-ordinators of iPath, visited one of our Telemedical links in Tansen, Nepal in February. United Mission Hospital is run by Dr Marianne Broqueville and Dr Rachel Karrach, Medical Director.  

The aim was to establish a Histology and Cytophology laboratory, training of technicians in the production of histological and cytological preparations, documentation and archiving, creation of a database for patient data and reports, Training of the team in basic histology and cytology. Training began with a very motivated team.

NGO hospital with 160 beds with an average occupancy rate of 80% and an outpatient clinic of 100,000 patients. The following fields are covered: surgery, orthopedics with trauma surgery, internal medicine with radiology and ultrasound, gynecology and obstetrics, as well as a laboratory for Hematology, Parasitology, Microbiology and biochemistry 

The next laboratory for pathology is located in Bharatpur, 160 km away (corresponding to 8 hours) and in Bhayavar at 60 km distance (corresponding to 3-4 hours).

Gerhard and Monika plan to return to the hospital and the end of the year.

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Congratulations to Mr Mukhtar - Paediatric Surgeon based in London, who performed emergency surgery on their youngest ever patient after her premature birth at 23 weeks.

We are so proud and privileged to have you as a volunteer consultant at Swinfen Telemedicine.

Thank you for your great skill and devotion to duty and humankind.

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News from Hindu Kush, Nepal

The following newsletter has been written by Maureen Lines.


Unique, beautiful, absolute paradise. These are some of the expressions used to describe the Kalash valleys. When I first came here in 1980, I probably used the same ones. In those days there was no electricity, no running water, no latrines, no bazaars, only hair raising jeep tracks (they still are!), no hotels or guest houses. I knew every water channel and mountain path in Birir. There were no walls, no hedges or fences to bar our way. A few plank bridges enabled us to cross over the river. In those early days I played the role of the 'barefoot doctor' and treated the ailing and the sick.

At that time there was plenty of protein although less in Birir than in the other two valleys. In Tak Dira’s house, where I stayed, there was always yoghurt, cheese, milk, walnuts and beans (no eggs as chickens were taboo in Kalash society). Rice, which has now become a staple food for those better off than most, was then a luxury and we only had it when I brought it in from Chitral. Meat was rare and mostly consumed by men and only at weddings, funerals or festival time. Then much later on, I moved across the river. In those days, Grubinasa had only two houses in the middle of fertile land between the river and the hills. Now Grubinasa is a village of some fifteen houses. Everywhere in Birir there are fences and walls. I would no longer be able to travel freely around the valley. The same is happening here now which happened in Britain in the 19th century. There is no open common land any more, and people are protecting their property from any possible encroachment. Along with that is, like everywhere else, population explosion. Also, when the eldest son marries, he soon tries to leave the extended family and build his own house. 

With this also comes deforestation and climate change..... Goats have always been the main stay of Kalash economy along with agriculture. Due to deforestation, more movement, disease among the goat population has increased. People's herds have dwindled, Less land, less crops, less livestock, lack of income and problems began to multiply. In the nineties, foreign tourists found us and several summers we had something like between three thousand and five thousand western tourists. This brought income. People built small guest houses and tourists often befriended me and would give me money to buy medicine. I used to think, that tucked away in these mountains, the Kalash culture would survive, along with the people themselves. The signs are full of foreboding…..globalization and climate change will affect the people adversely. Since 2010, we have witnessed terrible floods. Almost half of Bumburet has been completely washed away. Child mortality has improved enormously due to better sanitation, more awareness and better access to doctors. This, however, has had a blowback effect. With the population increase, it has become obvious, that the land can no longer sustain so many people. With both pastoral and agro livelihoods in danger, the youth have to find employment, so good education is a must. 


I have been asked a number of times, why I had decided to build a girls’ high school. I had moved with my friend and  her husband and four children. The eldest daughter, was moaning about the local primary school which was only about a hundred meters distant. Where was she going to continue her education? This bright twelve year old had a point. There was no Middle or High School for girls in the valley.

 ‘Why you don’t build one?” ‘Me?” ‘Impossible!” “ why not?” So the idea was born, but it was to take another six years before our dream would become a reality.

The building has now been completed except for the electricity. A new hydro-electric power station has been built, but the people of the valley do not like to have to pay monthly bills! They can’t afford to. I am hoping we can use solar panels for the school. We also need a programme of teacher training, as the ability of the present incumbents leaves something to be desired. 

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Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year,

My colleagues and I use the occasion of New Year for conveying our profound gratefulness to Swinfen Charitable Telemedicine kind and expert assistance.

We wish a year full of love, peace and happiness for you, your family and colleagues,

May God Bless You All,

Doctor and colleagues in Albania

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Season's Greetings

Dear all

May I have the opportunity of Christmas and the upcoming new year to congratulate you and wish you all the best and more success in the outstanding service you give for people who are in need, and have access to advanced medical knowledge in order to decrease the immense suffering due to poverty, illiteracy, political and social instability


A Referring Doctor from the Yemen

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News from Mali

Mr Greene, an Orthopedic Surgeon, became a Swinfen Referring doctor from Afghanistan, and then moved to a hospital in Ethiopia. With his great Knowledge and experience he also consulted on a few Swinfen cases and offered valuable advice.

 He is now serving others and teaching young doctors at the Koutiala Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Koutiala, MALI, where he has been for over 2 months. The hospital doesn’t have a reputation for orthopedics yet, but the word should get around soon. We do lots of bone infections but also a few fractures and deformities. These challenging cases require enormous amounts of time, nursing care, procedures and prolonged intravenous feedings.

A 14 year-old girl had dysplasia and dislocation of the hip. A good case for an old, but probably rarely performed, operation: Chiari osteotomy. The left pelvis was cut into 2 pieces, then shifted the lower piece inward so that the upper piece would give bony support to the hip bone. So far it seems to be working. 

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26th Swinfen Telemedicine Link in Nepal

We have established a link to Kunde Hospital located in Kunde Village, North of Namche Bazaar, 3840m in the Mount Everest region, Nepal. This hospital was established in 1966 by Sir Edmund Hillary and has been run by volunteers ever since. 

This is a 15 bed clinic with 2 Doctors on site along with 2 nurses, a Laboratory technician and a community health worker. Offering a 24 hour public health and primary care services free of charge to the Nepalese patients.

We welcome the clinic and will provide all the help we can. We received this message in return -

" We are grateful for this wonderful asset in improving the quality of the patients care in this very remote part of the world".

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