A4WH.ORG https://a4wh.org Welcome to Australians for Women's Health Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:18:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 https://a4wh.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/cropped-final-logo-whitetext-black150x75-1-32x32.png A4WH.ORG https://a4wh.org 32 32 A BRITISH GOVERNMENT AID ORGANISATION HAS ASKED TO JOIN FORCES WITH A4WH FOR THE NEXT GENITAL PROLAPSE TREATMENT CAMP (MARCH 2018). https://a4wh.org/a-british-government-aid-organisation/ Sun, 22 Oct 2017 11:15:20 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=347

The organisation (RAP 3 Connect) approached Dr Ray and his team during his recent visit to Nepal. RAP 3 Connect is a well-respected UK Aid Organisation that promotes empowerment of women in rural and remote areas of Nepal. (More info: http://rapnepal.com/about-rap3-connect )

Dr Ray is thrilled to be working with this illustrious group. “RAP 3 have an outstanding reputation within Nepal for promoting opportunities for women and youth. But so many of the women they’ve selected to help are restricted by genital prolapse. RAP 3 have asked A4WH to provide surgery to these women to allow them to continue working.”



Preoperative screening of 300 women suffering with genital prolapse has now commenced. These women are in the district of Achham in Far West Nepal. Those eligible for surgery will undergo their treatment at the next camp at Bayalpata Hospital in Achham March, 2018

The March camp will involve teaching of local Nepalese doctors to tackle this problem to be managed in the longer term in western Nepal. RAP 3 will partner with A4WH for this training camp.

A4WH is seeking volunteers for the next surgical camp. We currently require pelvic floor surgeons, theatre nurses and general assistants for a two or three week period in early March 2018 . For more information regarding this camp, please contact A4WH through our website.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF A CHARITY IS TRUSTWORTHY? https://a4wh.org/how-can-you-tell-if-a-charity-is-trustworthy/ Sun, 16 Jul 2017 12:10:03 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=368

Nine out of ten Australians donate to charities however the majority of donors are unaware of exactly where their money is going. Almost half of donations to some popular charities are spent on fundraising.

89% of Australians are approached by at least one charity call during any six month period.   You may feel the desire to donate, but you don’t want people to take advantage of your good nature.

There is understandable cynicism regarding the charity industry with reports of a number of charities failing to pass on funds, and others exposed as unmitigated scams. So how can you tell whether or not a charity is legitimate? How do you find out if your donation will passed on to those in need? What proportion of your donation will be consumed in ‘administrative costs’?

Here are five tips to make sure your money is well spent:

  1. Find a cause that matters to you. As a general rule, approach the charity yourself rather than have a representative approach you or call you. The large majority of telephone callers who seek donations are employed by commercial marketing firms.   The revenue of these companies relies on getting people to donate. You should never feel pressured into donating.
  2. Do your research into the charity. Download its website and find out as much as you can about the organisation. Ideally, speak to volunteers at the coalface of the charity.
  3. Check out the charity’s annual financial report. If the report is not available online, contact the organisation directly and ask for its financial statements. A trustworthy charity will be transparent with its finances. Make sure you’re happy with the proportion of donated funds that are incurred for administrative costs. Although there are some very worthy charities with relatively high overheads, you should be wary of any charity that spends more than 20 percent of its funds on administration.
  4. Make sure the charity is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) acnc.goc.au . This is the national regulator of the Australian charities and other not-for-profit organisations. Only charities that are financially sound are registered with this Federal Government body. Since its inception in 2012, nearly 15,000 organisations have been deregistered for failing to meet minimum standards. The ACNC website is a free and searchable online public register. The site is a handy tool for consumers who want to be savvy with their donation.
  5. Check to see charity is registered for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), i.e., whether your donation is tax-deductible. All DGR organisations are listed on the ABN lookup website: http://abr.business.gov.au/

The majority of Australian-based charities are sound and responsible. Be mindful that a number of charities are poorly governed and that fraudulent organisations do exist. But in this Information Age where so much data is available at our fingertips, a few minutes in front of a computer should give you every confidence you need to donate to a trustworthy cause.

  1. Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC). Media Release, 5th August 2015. Available at: http://acnc.gov.au/ACNC/Comms/Med_R/_Nine_out_of_10_Australians_donate_to_charity_.aspx


  1. Where is your charity donation going? Cause for concern? Choice, 3rd Sept 2014. Available at : https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/charity/articles/cause-for-concern


  1. Revealed: the high costs of being charitable. The Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 21 2013. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/revealed-the-high-cost-of-being-charitable-20131220-2zqvc.html


  1. Charity donations guide. Putting charities to the test. Choice, 17th March 2017. Available at: https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/charity/buying-guides/donating-to-charity
MOTHERS AND BABIES HOSPITAL UPDATE https://a4wh.org/mothers-and-babies-hospital-update/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 12:16:10 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=372
Preliminary work has commenced on the site where the A4WH Mothers and Babies Hospital will be constructed in Dolakha. Destruction of the existing hospital building building has commenced. This building was badly damaged during the 2015 earthquakes. The new Mothers and Babies Hospital will be constructed on this same site.

Dr Hodgson has recently returned form the construction site to oversee the engineering plans and building work.

The design and construction teams are very enthusiastic to be involved in the creation of the new hospital. They feel proud to be involved in this project and they are a delight to be working alongside,” Dr Hodgson said


Dr Ray Hodgson is a specialist gynaecologist and pelvic reconstructive surgeon, and the founder of Australians for Women’s Health. His major interests within gynaecology are pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and infertility. His medical practice is based at Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast. He is affiliated with Port Macquarie Base Hospital and Port Macquarie Private Hospital but also conducts regular surgical teaching sessions in other hospitals throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

THE NEPAL DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF HEALTH https://a4wh.org/the-nepal-director-general-of-health/ Fri, 01 Jul 2016 02:15:33 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=1382


July 1 2016
The Nepal Department of Health is grateful to Australians for Women’s Health for the exceptional work it has provided to the underprivileged women of Nepal. A4WH has performed many life-changing operations on these women, often under extremely difficult circumstances.

A4WH has been responsible for the extensive training of numerous local gynaecology surgeons …. and local midwives. This is essential for the reduction of maternal and perinatal mortality in our country.

In the years to come we look forward to the development of numerous projects in collaboration with A4WH to further improve the lives of the disadvantaged women of Nepal.

Dr Mingmar Sherpa
Director General of Health (rtd)
Government of Nepal


A4WH MOTHERS AND BABIES HOSPITAL https://a4wh.org/a4wh-mothers-and-babies-hospital/ Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:23:19 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=801


A4WH is delighted to announce that we will soon be building a Mothers and Babies Hospital in Charikot, Nepal.

Dolakha region following the April 2015 earthquake.

The hospital will be constructed on the site where medical teams have been working in tents following the devastating earthquakes earlier this year. The hospital will provide critical medical care to those in need.

In addition the hospital will become a major teaching centre for doctors, nurses and midwives. The hospital will also be the base for an extensive Community Health program, providing essential public health measures and medical research in the region. All funding for the construction of the hospital will come from public donations.

Medical clinic in Dolakha following the May 2015 earthquake.

Rotary Australia, and in particular the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie have been extremely helpful in assistance with this project.

Through Rotary, all donations to assist with the construction of the hospital are now tax deductible.

Please support this project by donating to our hospital construction. Buy a brick, and we’ll engrave your name on the brick or on a tile within the hospital. Come and visit us once the hospital is built, and find your name among the names of the other donors. We really can make a major difference to the health of the underprivileged women of Nepal.

In addition the hospital will become a major teaching centre for doctors, nurses and midwives. The hospital will also be the base for an extensive Community Health program, providing essential public health measures and medical research in the region. All funding for the construction of the hospital will come from public donations.

Temporary Tent Hospital. August 2015

Earlier this year the team at A4WH identified the crucial need for a hospital in north-east Nepal. Limited medical and surgical services in Charikot were being provided in a very run-down, dilapidated building. Overcrowding and potential cross infection were major problems.

The devastating earthquakes in Nepal of April and May of this year left more than 8150 dead and tens of thousands injured. The existing hospital building in Dolakha has been largely destroyed and it has not been possible to continue to use this facility.

Medical teams have been continuing their life-saving work with very limited infrastructure in basic tents.

In addition the hospital will become a major teaching centre for doctors, nurses and midwives. The hospital will also be the base for an extensive Community Health program, providing essential public health measures and medical research in the region. All funding for the construction of the hospital will come from public donations.

It’s a Boy!!

A successful caesarean section in the blue operating tent.

TREATMENT CAMPS https://a4wh.org/treatment-camps/ Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:31:16 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=838

December 2014

A4WH has now selected the site of the hospital it will construct in Nepal. During the December camp Dr Hodgson inspected several potential sites in rural and remote Nepal for the hospital to determine the area of greatest need. The hospital will be constructed in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the district of Dolakha. It is anticipated that this hospital will provide a base for A4WH teaching of local doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedical health workers. Plans are currently underway for the hospital. Construction will recruit as many Nepalese workers and local materials as possible to further boost the local economy. The whole A4WH team are very excited about the prospects of this new venture.

Dr Sahar Pakmehr, an Australian obstetrics & gynaecology registrar joined A4WH for her first trip to Nepal. Dr Pakmehr provided several valuable lectures to trainee Nepalese doctors at Dhulikhel Hospital. These lectures were very well received and they will contribute to the increasing standards of medical care in Nepal.

June / July 2014
This camp was another highly successful one. Many women underwent surgical correction of their advanced pelvic organ prolapse in Eastern Nepal and Dr Hodgson provided valuable teaching of these techniques to Nepalese gynaecology surgeons. Many of these surgeons are now able to perform operations themselves for women suffering from prolapse of the uterus, bladder and bowel. An important part of the philosophy of A4WH is to empower local Nepalese medical teams to provide medical and surgical care independently. We are now well on the way to achieving this aim.

Dr Hodgson also began discussions for the next major A4WH project: the construction of a hospital in remote Nepal. This exciting development will provide an invaluable facility in an area of need in Nepal. The site of the proposed hospital will be chosen later in the year.

September / October 2013

Dr Marcus Carey joined the A4WH team for this camp. Dr Carey is a Melbourne-based urogynaecologist with an outstanding international reputation. He provided enormous assistance in teaching local Nepalese gynaecology surgeons on the latest techniques in pelvic floor surgery. In addition to practical demonstrations, Dr Carey undertook lectures for Nepalese surgeons at The Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu. He discussed the challenging topic of the surgical management of vaginal vault prolapse.

Dr Hodgson provided teaching to several local Nepalese surgeons in remote eastern Nepal where a uterine prolapse camp was held. These surgeons are now able to provide independent surgical care to many women suffering with basic forms of pelvic organ prolapse.

The surgical lectures and practical demonstrations were very warmly received and on future trips Dr Carey and Dr Hodgson will provide further practical teaching to allow more complex pelvic floor procedures to be performed by local Nepal gynaecology surgeons. Australian volunteer nurses will provide teaching to local Nepalese nursing theatre and ward staff to deliver high standards of nursing care to the women undergoing this surgery.

April 2013
A pathology and physiotherapy training camp was held at Dhulikhel Hospital. Dr Hodgson was joined by Dr Sandy McColl, head of the University of NSW Rural Medical School at Port Macquarie. Dr McColl provided training in pathology and clinical aspects of physiotherapy to local Nepalese medical and physiotherapy students. This is likely to become a regular teaching event. Dr Hodgson undertook clinical assessment of a number of patients suffering with severe genital prolapse and fistulae in preparation for the next surgical camp in Nepal. This camp will take place in September and October 2013.

January 2013
A successful prolapse and incontinence camp took place at Dhulikhel Hospital.  18 demonstration surgical procedures were performed on women with severe forms of uterine and vaginal prolapse and urinary incontinence.  Dr Hodgson also provided several surgical lectures to Kathmandu University professors, surgeons and nursing staff.

June 2012
A three week gynaecology screening and ultrasound training camp was based in the district of Kaski in western Nepal.  A4WH provided a group of ten volunteer workers including two nurses,two ultrasonographers, three doctors, and three ancillary workers.

March 2011

The March 2011 Prolapse Treatment Camp was based in Solu Hospital in the district of Solukhumbu, Nepal.  Two surgeons, two anaesthetists, two theatre nurses and an ancillary worker spent two weeks providing surgery and education to women suffering with prolapse and incontinence.

Solu Hospital is a small institution built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1974.  The hospital has no regular operating functionality and all equipment and medications were provided by A4WH.

January 2011

This camp was based in Dhulikhel Hospital, Nepal. A4WH volunteer surgeons undertook training of local gynaecology surgeons in techniques of prolapse and incontinence surgery. New surgical procedures including urethral sling insertion for urinary incontinence were introduced to the hospital.

A4WH is grateful to the Ramsay Health for donations of medical supplies for this surgical camp. 503 women were screened for prolapse and other conditions. 83 operations performed on a total of 37 women. 81 of these operations were for treatment of prolapse or urinary incontinence. Two local Nepalese gynaecology surgeons and four local nursing staff underwent surgical training during the camp. Pre-operative Quality of Life Surveys were performed for all women undergoing surgery; the surveys were followed up for these women at six and twelve months’ intervals.

1015 patients were screened and treated for a wide range of gynaecological conditions. Eight Nepalese midwives were trained in the skills of obstetric ultrasound. A4WH staff delivered three further gynaecology lectures to the medical staff at Dhulikhel Hospital.

NEPAL EARTHQUAKES 2015 https://a4wh.org/nepal-earthquakes-2015/ Wed, 08 Apr 2015 06:28:17 +0000 https://rayhodgson.net.au/?p=834


May 2015
Despite the devastation and the horrors of the recent earthquake in Nepal, the situation will worsen in the weeks to come. Experience from other international natural disasters shows us that in the weeks following the event supplies of medicine, food and water become scarcer, water-borne diseases proliferate, hospitals become more overwhelmed as those in makeshift shelters succumb to exposure and disease.

Valuable lessons have been learnt from recent natural disasters including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The massive scale and complexity of these disasters exceeded the capacity of any single agency. The voluntary nature of the international humanitarian system led to a lack of coordinated response, a lack of predictable leadership, and inadequate accountability. Disparate groups of well-intentioned do-gooders flooded the affected countries in an effort to assist the crises, however many lacked the skills and experience and coordination to provide any effective assistance. In fact there were many cases where well-meaning but inexperienced volunteers led to hindering of aid efforts. In the aftermath of a large scale disaster, such poor logistical relief efforts involving distribution of goods and services are frequently called “the second disaster”. We must do everything we can to avoid this second disaster in Nepal.

We sit back and watch the news coverage of the horrendous scenes of death and despair in Nepal, and many of us feel overwhelmed with helplessness and guilt and the pressing need to help. The worst thing you can do right now is to simply travel to Nepal unannounced and expect to provide useful aid. The single international airport in Nepal, which itself has sustained damage is at full capacity. The airport is required for emergency aid supplies and for transport of victims and qualified, coordinated relief workers. If you are intending to travel to Nepal to assist in the emergency, in almost all cases it would be far more helpful to delay your trip for at least the next few weeks, and to join a reliable international relief agency. You’d rather donate clothing and blankets to the thousands in need in Nepal? Don’t make this mistake either. Postal and delivery services are desperately inadequate in Nepal, and few functioning distribution channels must prioritise essential supplies like medicine, food and water. If you do have clothes and other goods to donate, sell these at home and donate the proceeds to a reliable charity.

Unfortunately many of us are cynical regarding cash donations to charities and other aid organisations. And in the wake of a major disaster people are inundated with pleas for aid via telemarketers, social media and email. While the majority of these requests are from legitimate organisations, there are a number of scammers and inefficient charities pursuing our money. Be very wary of those seeking donations over the phone, and exercise caution with social media and email requests for aid.

Who do you trust then? How do you recognise a trustworthy, reliable relief organisation? The best charitable organisations keep administrative and overhead costs low, ideally below 20 per cent of total funds donated; accounts are transparent; and corporate governance is highly principled. There are some very useful websites listing the best charities involved in relief efforts with extensive expert reviews.

Nepal desperately needs our help. We need to provide this help in the most effective and efficient ways possible. Do not turn your back on this country in this time of anguish and distress and critical need for assistance. Help the Nepalese people, but help them in ways that can provide the greatest humanitarian impact.

Dr Ray Hodgson
Australians for Women’s Health