Leicester Rotarian Awarded MBE

A variety of Rotarians from across the Isles were rewarded for their outstanding service in the 2024 New Year’s Honours List, including Leicester Rotarian, Richard Power

Richard Power MBE
Richard Power MBE

I am very proud to be awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours but I fully recognise that this Honour is very much “one for the Team”.  It is very gratifying that the work we have been doing in Gondar, Ethiopia has received national recognition.  The Leicester Gondar Orthopaedic Partnership was formed in 2017 with the specific aim of developing an Orthopaedic Trauma Service in Gondar University Hospital (which serves a population of c.5 million) where there was none.  Working with GUH, the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, The Rotary Club of Leicester and Medical Aid International (MedAid) we raised $200,000 through a Rotary Foundation Global Grant which funded the purchase through MedAid everything needed for a fully functioning Orthopaedic Trauma Operating Theatre.  Alongside this GUH carried out refurbishment work on a dilapidated 1930’s Operating Theatre.  The Black Lion Hospital in Addis agreed to provide trained surgeons, and Clinicians from UHL provided training support and guidance.  My role was simply to keep the show on the road!

We eventually unpacked all the equipment in 2020 just before the world went into Lockdown.  Sadly conflict then flared between the Ethiopian Federal Government and Tigray, the province adjoining Amhara Region.  Gondar then became the main receiving hospital for casualties from the conflict.  We had no choice but to allow the newly appointed surgeons from Addis to start using the equipment.  The Department has gone from strength to strength with a Consultant staff of 10 and a new training programme which graduated its first trainees in November 2023.  Up until December 2023 the surgeons had carried out 4,000 surgical procedures to a very high standard when five years previously no surgery was possible.

Ongoing political instability in the region means we are currently unable to travel to Gondar but I continue to have monthly online meetings with the current Head of Service to offer support and guidance.  The work continues.

Gondar Hospital

Operating Theatre 
with equipment all provided by Rotary Club of Leicester
with a Rotary Foundation Global Grant

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Richard Power MBE

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