Garreth Wood charity to open kids operating room in Kenya refugee camp after Davos announcement

It will be the first paediatric operating room at Kakuma refugee camp.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 8:58 pm

Edinburgh-based children’s charity KidsOR has announced it will build the first paediatric operating room in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Founders of Kids Operating Room (KidsOR) Garreth and Nicola Wood made the announcement at the World Economic Forum at Davos this morning.

The charity will build and equip the paediatric operating room at the Kakuma refugee camp in North West Kenya.

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Nicola Wood and Garreth Wood made the announcement at Davos.

The largest refugee camp in Northern Kenya, Kakuma is home to over 190,000 refugees, 40,000 of which are children.

It aims to make the facility operational within the next six months.

The announcement follows a call from Prince Jamie de Bourbon de Parme, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Agency for Refugees, of a desperate need for facilities to perform paediatric surgery in the Kakuma refugee camp.

Philanthropists Garreth and Nicola Wood set up KidsOR in January 2018 with the goal of providing access to safe surgery to children around the world.

Nicola Wood in a KidsOR operating room in Equador.

Over two billion children worldwide do not have access to surgery facilities and more children between the ages of five and fourteen die each year from surgically-treatable injuries than from TB, HIV and Malaria combined.

The charity installs paediatric operating rooms in places where there are no surgery facilities, or where the only operating rooms are designed for adults with instruments too large to be used for operating on children.

It has so far opened 25 paediatric operating rooms, including those in Haiti, Ecuador, Peru, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Malawi.

The equipment to build each operating theatre is shipped from the charity’s warehouse in Dundee.

Garreth Wood with paediatric surgeons in an operating room in Malawi.

Since its foundation over 16,000 operations have been carried out as a result of KidsOR equipment.

Speaking today at Davos, Founder of KidsOR Garreth Wood said:

“Nicola and I are so proud to be announcing today at Davos, this project at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. This operating room will make essential care available to tens of thousands of children. Children who are in refugee camps are no less deserving of the surgery that they need.”

Paediatric surgeon, KidsOR advisory member and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Neema Kaseje said: “There is a huge and desperate need for a paediatric surgery facility at this camp, and in many more camps around the world.

“I am proud that KidsOR have pledged to get children in Kakuma access to the safe surgery they so badly need.”

Millionaire businessman Garreth Wood sold his restaurant business The Speratus Group in early 2018, announcing that he wanted to dedicate the next decades of his life to philanthropy

He is the son of oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, one of Scotland’s richest men.