Note from the Chief Executive

In September we took our Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course to sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. The David Nott Foundation will travel to wherever in the world our teaching is needed and the doctors in Cameroon are contending with very challenging circumstances as they seek to care for their patients.

Violence from the Nigerian Army’s conflict with Boko Haram has spilled over into the north of Cameroon and the doctors there are having to cope with the aftermath of major trauma incidents such as suicide bombings with minimal equipment.  Their training has not always equipped them to manage the cases they face in the most effective way, which is where the DNF steps in.

We are motivated by the fact that well-trained doctors save more lives.  If doctors have the knowledge and confidence to handle the complex cases in front of them, they will be more likely to save life and limb.

Thank you for your support.



Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course for Syrian doctors
17-20 July

Our training team returned to Gaziantep, for the third time since the Foundation was established, in July to train a group of Syrian surgeons.  For David, it was a chance to see friends of many years with whom he lived and operated in Aleppo and Idlib.

Among those attending was the doctor with whom David had conducted an operation over Skype in 2016.  When the siege of Aleppo was at its height, David helped the doctors in M10 Hospital reconstruct a man’s jaw, the majority of which had been blown off in an explosion.

The training was enhanced by the use of prosthetic organs upon which the Faculty demonstrated various surgical techniques.

Our third HEST for Syrian doctors

Practising surgical procedures on prosthetic organs enhanced the teaching for these experienced doctors



HEST course in Cameroon
10-14 September

The class of Maroua, 2018

The Foundation’s first mission in sub-Saharan Africa; a Faculty of three set off for Cameroon on 9 September.  There has been a considerable overspill of violence from military operations against Boko Haram in neighbouring Nigeria into the far north of Cameroon.  Our team arrived into Yaounde and then took a further internal flight to Maroua, travelling by car to the MSF field hospital where the training took place.  29 local doctors attended and the lectures were selected in order to match the experience of the trainees.  Many attending were not surgeons but general doctors with surgical skills, so the faculty spent more time covering common procedures in detail and mentioned for general knowledge other procedures that will require a more advanced level of training.

Some sessions were combined with practical dry lab stations, using prosthetic organs commissioned by the Foundation and funded by your generous donations.  The doctors practised cardio vascular repair on hearts, arteries and veins; bowel repair, anastomosis and stoma principles and post-partum haemorrhage management using an intrauterine balloon.

The training in action using specially-commissioned training materials

Systematic Management and Emergency Care in Obstetrics and Midwifery (SMEC-OM) for Syrian Obstetrician and Midwives. Gaziantep
24-28 September

The obstetricians and midwives attending travelled from Idlib, Syria

The training comprised practical and written assessment and tests

Organised and funded by the David Nott Foundation, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development and World Vision International; the course aimed to address the high rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity in Idlib.

An account of the training and the challenges facing Idlib’s obstetricians was published by the British Medical Journal on 9 November:



There have been several wonderful fundraising events organised by our supporters over the past few months.  They include a group of friends doing a sponsored walk along Hadrian’s Wall, an open day at a beautiful fruit nursery in Kent, coffee mornings and garden parties.  We are so incredibly grateful for all these efforts as they enable us to keep doing the work we do.

In June, we held a cello recital and reception at Fishmongers’ Hall in London.   We were generously sponsored by the April Trust and heard from the ‘cellist of Baghdad,’ Karim Wasfi.  David Nott presented Karim with the Arabian Business ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ Award in 2015 for his work promoting peace through music and the arts in his native Iraq.

Iraqi cellist Karim Wasfi performs

Our life-sized whole body training simulator on display; anatomy being described by David Nott

Can you help us?

If we are to continue to train surgeons and take these desperately-needed courses abroad, we need your help.

There are several ways you can donate:

Bank transfer
Bank: The Co-operative Bank
Account name: The David Nott Foundation
Account number: 65774847
Sort code: 08-92-99

Credit/debit card
Please visit  and donate through our secure connection

Please make cheques payable to ‘The David Nott Foundation’ and post to:
The David Nott Foundation,
Second Home – Holland Park
48-49 Princes Place
London W11 4QA


Leave a Comment