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Outreach in Nepal

July 2019


Visiting Nepal as an outreach burns nurse was a carefully thought-out decision for St George’s Hospital Intensive Care Charge Nurse, Nikki Wood and her two friends Marilyn and Kath.

“The three of us went to nursing school together and we wanted an opportunity to reconnect. We thought - ‘let’s give back at the same time and do some charity work’”.

Nikki and her friends treated Nepalese burns victims, working alongside local healthcare staff in a small village an hour from Kathmandu. The programme, run by Open Heart International, has been operating for 15 years throughout several countries.

Burns are among the leading causes of disability-adjusted life-years lost in low and middle income countries. The injuries often occur due to poverty, overcrowding and lack of proper safety measures.

The outreach medical specialists work collaboratively with the victims and local medical teams. “We worked with local staff for 10 days, with a focus on supporting their nursing practises and reinforcing evidence-based practise,” Nikki says.

Voluntary charity work reminds Nikki about what’s important in life. “It’s easy to get swept up in the daily grind and lose perspective. There’s huge satisfaction in giving back to people who are in need, and it’s a privilege to help someone increase their skillsets.”

The choice to complete voluntary charity work resonates with Nikki’s morals and philosophy on life. “It’s a choice and a juggle, but ultimately I want to be part of teams that make a difference”. Should you wish to donate to Nikki’s next outreach trip, please contact


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