Scottish charity KidsOR unveils ambitious expansion plans to provide children around the world with equal access to safe surgery

SCOTTISH-based charity Kids Operating Room (KidsOR) has unveiled an ambitious expansion plan to provide children with equal access to life-saving surgery in low and middle-income countries.

It comes following the release of statistics on the scale of preventable child deaths as a result of access issues to safe surgery.

Research has revealed that 1.7 billion children with routinely treatable conditions lack access to safe and affordable surgery, resulting in death or permanent disability.

The charity has also announced its 5,000th successful operation and plans to build 15 more operating rooms in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South America by the end of 2019.

Rwanda operating room

KidsOR has already launched four fully operating surgeries in Malawi, Rwanda, and two in Tanzania as it aims to exists to change the global plight of children denied lifesaving care.

The charity, funded by Scottish philanthropists Garreth and Nicola Wood, works with local surgeons and their teams to design and build Operating Rooms.

Co-Founder and Chairman Garreth Wood said: “Access to surgery is a basic human right, but sadly there are still almost 2 billion children around the world who lack access to it.

“It is unacceptable that any child should die – or live their life in agonising pain or disability – because of a surgically treatable condition.

KidsOR Founder Garreth Wood meets some of the medical staff

“Nicola and I believe our work is not only the right thing to do but KidsOR is already proving that investment in surgical services for children is affordable, saves lives, and has long-term benefits for the economic growth of a country.

“We have already opened Operating Rooms in Malawi, two in Tanzania, and KidsOR is responsible for creating the first ever dedicated children’s Operating Room in Rwanda – a country with approximately 5.1 million children.”