Dr. Pramila Shakya is head of cleft surgery at the Nepal Burns & Cleft Centre, Kirtipur Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal. This hospital has 100 hundred beds and is the largest dedicated cleft centre in the Nepal.

This was the first visit of Dr. Shakya to the Newcastle Cleft Team and was an exploratory visit to observe the Newcastle Cleft Team (and other areas of oral-maxillofacial surgery and plastic surgery) to determine whether future collaboration between the two centres would be worthwhile.

Dr. Shakya observed theatre session in primary and secondary cleft surgery as well as cleft multidisciplinary clinics with all the different specialists involved (surgeons, SLTs, orthodontist, paediatric dentists, psychologists and cleft specialist nurses). Dr. Shakya also observed burns and plastic surgery clinics. The banner photo shows from left to right: Jade Appleby, Lucy Burbridge, Nadine Cavenar, Jane Kerby, Gary Wilson, Jo McClintock, Pramila Shakya, Chris Pennington, Alison Whittalow and David Sainsbury.

At the end of Dr. Shakya’s visit, the following plan was made for future collaboration between the Newcastle and Kathmandu teams which will include the following:

  • Virtual monthly case discussions / teaching
  • Newcastle Cleft and Plastic Surgery team to visit Nepal in early Autumn 2023
  • Nepali Fellow to spend 3-6 months in Newcastle
  • Provision of additional Speech and Language Therapy support
  • Supply of surgical instruments including surgical blades and an operating microscope

It was a real pleasure to have Dr. Shakya with us in Newcastle. The cleft team and wider plastic surgery and burns teams are keen to collaborate with the team in Kathmandu to mutually learn to enable the provision of the best possible care for our patients in both centres.

David Sainsbury, Cleft Surgeon and Trustee of CLEFT

We are very grateful for Sue Ball and George Armstrong for allowing Pramila to stay in their house while she was visiting Newcastle.