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.

sunil sah1

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.

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.

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