Two Orthopaedic nurses from Whitfield in Waterford will travel to Vietnam this month to take part in the first non-U.S. ‘Operation Walk’, where they will assist in over 60 hip and knee replacements performed by an all Irish team of over 50 medical experts.
Helen Shanahan (orthopaedic team leader) and Mary Lou Walsh (orthopaedic theatre nurse) have been fundraising for a number of months in order to participate in this worthy cause which Whitfield is delighted to support.
Operation Walk is a private, not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organisation which provides free surgical treatment for patients in developing countries, which have no access to life-improving care for arthritis or other debilitating bone and joint conditions.
Helen Shanahan is looking forward to this wonderful opportunity, “Both Marylou and I have many years of Orthopaedic experience and feel this is a great opportunity for us to use our skills to help others who would otherwise never have access to joint replacement surgery”
This, the first independent Operation Walk Ireland mission, will take place in Hanoi later this month. Vietnam is a country of 93 million people who have rapidly improved their prosperity in recent times. Over the last 20 years the percentage of the population classified as "in poverty" has fallen (from 58% to 13%) and the life expectancy is rising rapidly. This creates a population with a rapidly increasing demand for joint replacement.
Operation Walk also educates in-country orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals on the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques for diseases of the hip and knee joints. This is done in conjunction with surgeries to help create a lasting contribution to patient care in developing countries.
Mary Lou Walsh expresses her pride on the chance for them to use their skills for such a good cause, “I feel that by being chosen to participate in Operation walk both Helen and I can use our skills to educate and make a lasting difference.”