Report from the 47th BRINOS Ear Camp, Nepal

Frimley Park and Clare Park ENT Consultant David Jonathan was recently one of three UK ENT surgeons taking part in the 47th BRINOS ear camp in Nepalgunj.

Retired Guildford ENT consultant Neil Weir set up BRINOS, a registered UK charity, 24 years ago to undertake ear surgery in Nepal as well as to help train Nepali ENT surgeons. Two to three times a year BRINOS runs an ‘ear camp’ where pre-selected patients undergo surgical procedures for ear conditions which would otherwise go untreated.

Nepal ranks amongst the poorest nations in the world and, partly due to lack of general healthcare as well as poor nutritional status, the incidence of ear disease is high. Nepalgunj is Nepal’s second largest city. It lies in the lowlands, towards the west of the country and very close to the Indian border.

“This was my second visit to Nepalgunj and, as on my previous visit, the organisation was superb, which meant we were able to undertake a large number of operations in a short period of time.

After an overnight stop in the capital Kathmandu, we arrived in Nepalgunj on the Saturday and went to the hospital straight from the airport. We spent the rest of the day setting up the operating theatres (two adjoining rooms kindly lent by a charity eye hospital). Over the next nine days we undertook 110 major ear operations, three quarters being done under local anaesthetic, with general anaesthetic being reserved for the longest procedures (a UK consultant anaesthetist was part of our team). On the final day we carried out a number of more minor ear operations before packing up and heading home.

The days were long and tiring (12 hours), and very hot, but the team spirit was extraordinary which made the work tremendously enjoyable.”

The ear operations undertaken were:

  • repair of ear drum perforations (myringoplasty)
  • mastoidectomy to treat cholesteatoma (a potentially life threatening condition)
  • stapedectomy surgery to alleviate the hearing loss caused by otosclerosis

Further information on BRINOS can be found on their website



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