The lives of five children in Afghanistan have been transformed, thanks to the most recent grants from the Linda Norgrove Foundation.
The Foundation has worked in partnership with the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) to provide reconstructive surgery for babies and children who have problems such as a cleft palette or club feet.
The Linda Norgrove Foundation was established in 2010 by John and Lorna Norgrove in memory of their daughter, the Western Isles aid worker who died after being kidnapped. It raises money for projects which help women and children in Afghanistan.
FMIC is run by the French not-for-profit organisation La Chaine de l’Espoire – Chain of Hope – who operate in a number of developing countries and have been in Afghanistan since 2005. They continue to expand and now run a hospital which was visited by the Norgroves during their visit to Kabul earlier in the year.
As Lorna Norgrove explained: “We were hugely impressed when we visited the Medical House, which is part of the hospital complex. It was humbling to meet some of the youngsters who can face a long series of operations to help them improve the quality of their lives. By funding an operation we can transform the lives of a child and their family and that’s what we aim to do as a charity. The amounts we give may be relatively small but they can make a profound difference to the lives of individuals.” The Medical House which is connected to the hospital is run by British nurse Kate Rowlands. It provides a place of convalescence and accommodation to the children and their families from remote areas who are there to receive treatment.
The children cared for in the House are referred by the Ministry of Public Health or other NGOs and either live in rural areas or have no family to look after them.
The hospital itself takes in hundreds of children every day and operates as a teaching hospital. In 2011 it undertook more than 80,000 consultations. More than 80% of the surgical operations were carried out by Afghan teams. One of the hospital’s founding principles is its medical training programme, not only will it treat patients but it also functions as a teaching hospital.