Building Faces Building Futures – Professor Tony Markus and Mr Sunil Sah
Craniofacial Centre Nepal was established in August 2017. It was the vision of Sunil Sah, Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, originally from Janakpur 24 years ago, did his medical and surgical training in the UK. Seeing the devastation after the earthquake in 2015, he decided to return to Kathmandu with a group of UK maxillofacial surgeons to help manage the craniomaxillofacial trauma. However, as time went on, he realised there was a great need to help in and around Janakpur, identified as one of the country’s two poorest parts.
Janakpur is the capital of Province 2, in the plains of Nepal, roughly south-east of Kathmandu, bordering the Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal with the local Madheshi people straddling the border. It is the birthplace of Sita, one of the central figures of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. She married Lord Rama. There is a massive and hugely impressive temple in her honour, one of many in Janakpur, decorated with many paintings in the local Maithili tradition.
Craniofacial Centre in Janakpur, Nepal
The Craniofacial Centre was built in the summer of 2017 by Sunil Sah and a group of local doctors and dentists, who like so many from Janakpur, had left to build their lives elsewhere in Nepal due to the deplorable economic conditions in the region. It was built on land and attached to the Janakpur Trauma and Orthopaedic Hospital, a small well-developed hospital owned by Sunil’s brother-in-law, Prof Ram Kewal Shah established some 20 years previously.
Despite, or perhaps despite, a difficult year in the face of COVID 19, we have continued to achieve our aims. Our focus remains on the training and support of cleft and craniomaxillofacial professionals. To achieve the best surgical outcomes and provide the best care for patients, we have continued to provide training grants for individuals. However, our main focus this year has been towards developing a major new facility in Nepal. Great progress has and continues to be made.