January 2021 Newsletter


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29 countries in two days: here’s how we did it.

Welcome to the David Nott Foundation’s January update. While 2020 was gloomy, 2021 offers renewed hope. Planning is already underway for new surgical training courses to be delivered in some of the most austere regions in the world, and our pilot digital course yielded promising results.

We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty to the Foundation. It is truly felt by all of us and makes a tangible difference to the lives of doctors in conflict zones and their patients.

DigiHEST: our latest approach to humanitarian surgical training.

The David Nott Foundation recently completed our first digital, live-streamed surgical training course: DigiHEST.

DigiHEST saw 100+ attendees tuning in from up to 29 countries, including many existing members of the David Nott Foundation family in countries that we have previously delivered courses in. This was perhaps the main benefit of a digital course: whereas before we could take our training to one location at a time, now we could bring it to 29. We welcomed surgeons, students, physicians and guests from Ethiopia to Thailand, from Syria to Nepal, from Somalia to Sri Lanka and more – as the map below shows.



Detailed feedback is being prepared on DigiHEST: how it went, what was successful and how it can be improved for next time. While we hope to be back on the road and travelling shortly, it is greatly reassuring for both our team and we hope for you – our supporters – to know that no matter the global situation the Foundation will find innovative ways to deliver our training.

New year, same mission.

In 2021 we have ambitious goals. Our Operations Director, Jon Barden, had this to say:

“Thank you for all your generous support during this very strange year. Despite not being able to travel from March onwards, we have been using the time to make improvements to our training models and make new training videos. We’ve lost count of the number of training skulls we’ve cut into pieces and posted to David so that he can make videos of how to put them back together again.

As soon as we possibly can we want to get back on the road and delivering HEST face to face. We’ve got courses lined up for places like Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Somaliland and South Sudan so that as soon as we can we’ll be adding another 150 surgeons to the DNF family.

Everyone connected with the David Nott Foundation is looking forward to getting back out there and providing the life-saving surgical training that your fantastic support makes possible. Please consider donating in this new year to get our team back on the road.

Happy new year | عام سَعيد | bonne année