Italian doctor Roberto De Castro from Bologna has begun examining 50 children who suffer from genital malformations in the central region.

The examinations, which will be followed by genital reconstruction organised by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, are to select kids with the most complicated genital defects for free surgery next June in the central city.

De Castro said operations will be carried out on the most challenging cases twice a year.

The Italian paediatric urologist has performed surgery on 30 children in Vietnam already.

"I've been invited to introduce my genital reconstructive techniques to the world and I hope that Vietnamese doctors can practise and carry out surgery themselves in the future," he added.

One of De Castro's success stories is Phung Thien Nhan, a six-year-old boy with genital problems. Nhan, who was abandoned by his natural mother at birth and attacked by wild animals, was adopted by Tran Mai Anh.

Mai Anh later became founder of the Thien Nhan Journey programme, and together with Greig Craft, president of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, will help raise funds for next June's free surgery at Da Nang 's Paediatrics and Obstetrics Hospital .

She said she expected to raise 1.5 billion VNA (71,000 USD) to cover the costs for at least 30 toddlers.-VNA