Lead clinician Niall Kirkpatrick (Photo: dailymail.co.uk)

London (VNA) – Some 70-80 Vietnamese children with facial disfigurements are expected to receive checkups and treatment from “Facing the World”- a United Kingdom-based charity from April 6-16 in Viet Duc and Hong Ngoc hospitals in Hanoi.

Lead clinician in the craniofacial unit at Chelsea and Westminster hospital Niall Kirkpatrick, who is also a Trustee, Chairman and Medical Director of “Facing the World” spoke to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent before the charity’s trip to Vietnam.

According to Dr. Niall Kirkpatrick, Vietnam has been the charity’s top priority as the incidence of severe birth defects in the country is high and the country has faced adverse consequences from Agent Orange/ Dioxin.

The charity first arrived in Vietnam on 2008, and its doctors have returned to the country every year to perform surgery for vulnerable children.

The organisation has helped Da Nang build a training centre so that Vietnamese doctors could carry out craniofacial surgery on their own, Niall said.

At a workshop last year, “Facing the World” and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health discussed establishing a scholarship programme, which will provide a one-year training course in London for 4 Vietnamese surgeons every year, who will then treat patients and train other doctors in the country, he said.

The programme is of great significance to the organisation, he said, adding that it receives great support from the Vietnamese Government, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Van Thao.

This is the first time the organisation’s doctors will come to Hanoi, Dr. Niall Kirkpatrick said, adding that Ho Chi Minh City will be their destination next year.

Founded in 2002 by craniofacial surgeons Martin Kelly and Norman Waterhouse, “Facing the World” has so far provided treatment for over 40 children in the UK and more than 90 through its Vietnam Project, according to the organisation’s website.-VNA