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Friday, August 28, 1998 Published at 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK


Diana funds benefit children worldwide

Great Ormond Street Hospital: a centre of world excellence

A top children's hospital is spreading its medical expertise around the world thanks to funds donated following the death of Princess Diana.

Great Ormond Street Hospital in London received hundreds of donations totalling £72,000 in the wake of last year's accident. The Princess was closely identified with the work of the hospital, and was its president.

Part of the cash is being used to send experts from the hospital to five countries - India, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Malta.

Genetic disorder

A team from the gastroenterology department will travel to Malta to set up the island's first specialist clinic for children suffering from a rare genetic condition - enteropathy - which effects their intestines.

To keep them alive the children need to be tube-fed with a special type of nutrition which goes straight to the heart. They need constant intensive nursing, medical, dietetic and psychological support.

There is a high incidence of the disorder in Malta, and children have to travel to Great Ormond Street several times a year for treatment, sometimes staying for several months.

The hope is that the experts' visit will be able to cut dramatically the need for the children to travel by teaching how to give home nutrition.

Play expertise

[ image: Children around the world will receive expert care]
Children around the world will receive expert care
A second team of four play specialists will travel to Egypt to give advice on how best local children's hospitals should be decorated and equipped.

The team has built up great experience of how to boost children's recovery from illness by making their surroundings as bright and friendly as possible.

The India team is to set up a project working with women and children who are HIV positive.

The Kenya team will fly out a scanner so that children who are in comas, suffer from epilepsy or from cerebral malaria receive a higher quality of assessment.

In Zimbabwe, local pharmacists will be given training in up to the minute techniques.

Way to remember the Princess

Great Ormond Street Hospital spokeswoman Frances Tuke said: "After the Princess died we received money from the public.

"We wanted something very special to commemorate the Princess and these are very special projects that we would not have been able to do without this money.

"We have contacts with all kinds of children right the way round the world, and we wanted to be able to help some of these children, as well as bringing medical expertise back into Great Ormond Street.

"It is a two way benefit, our children at the hospital will benefit, and so hopefully will quite a few children in five countries."

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