Andrew Mitchell, President
“Living in a developed nation, we sometimes take for granted how easy it is to obtain quality healthcare in times of need. Six weeks in the Kathmandu Valley opened my eyes to the heartaches endured by families in developing nations where medical attention is inaccessible, expensive and downright ineffective. During my time in Nepal, I was fortunate enough to spend time with various local professionals who were driven to improve the quality of healthcare in their country. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I was quickly found myself looking for ways in which to help. Thus, upon returning to Canada, Lana, Eric, Hamid and myself created BABU as a means of assisting those in developing nations relieve themselves of poverty. I truly believe that in order for a country to become financially and politically stable, it must first be healthy.
Currently, I am working towards a PhD in Physiology and hope to one day be directly involved in healthcare one way or another.”
Lana Vanderlee, Vice-President
“I fell in love with the country of Nepal as a sixteen year old, exploring the culture and countryside. When I returned to Kathmandu in 2008 after finishing my degree, I had the opportunity to explore more of the urban life of Kathmandu, working in both a hospital and orphanage setting. It again ignited my passion for the people and the country. Volunteering in a government run hospital with a social work organization opened my eyes to some of the realities of the health care situation in this low to middle income country. After working to set-up International Friendship Children’s Hospital and attending the inauguration of the hospital, I was very excited at the opportunity to take part in facilitating the work of the hospital. Returning in 2009 was like a gift of inspiration, as a year had turned a non-existent medical facility into a well-run and functioning hospital. I hope you will explore our organization, and our vision of working alongside the medical community in Nepal. And I hope that your experience empowers you as much as it has empowered me. ”
Eric Cheng, Director of International Business Development
“I am a respriatory therapist in the Toronto area constantly looking for collaborative opportunities to share and learn from others. To appease Hamid’s pestering, I journeyed to Nepal in 2007 to investigate the healthcare facilities and situation. I have since grown to love the country and burdened by the dire situation for child healthcare in Nepal. I am inspired by the work of the doctors here, and want to work with them to improve child health care.
Hamid Izadi, Director of Program Development
“I’m a resident in general surgery at UBC and have an interest in working in rural and underdeveloped areas. Nepal has always fascinated me. I travelled there in 2007 with Eric to gain insight into health challenges that result from war and underdevelopment. I was struck by the enormous health challenges that Nepali people face. The recent tragic earth quake has compounded many of these challenges and has added an array of obstacles to providing relief.
We can make important contributions to improving health in many Nepali communities by partnering with them and doing our best to make resources available to them.
BABU has made significant strides since its formation in 2008: We have sent more than 50 Canadian and European medical students to Nepal to work on various projects; a Belgium-Netherlands BABU has been formed; and we have expanded our scope of operations beyond pediatric health and the confines of Kathmandu. These exciting developments have been made possible by the tireless efforts of my colleagues Andrew Mitchell, Lana Vanderlee and Eric Cheng. Please refer to our “Projects” section to learn more about our current projects, and our “Activities Log” to browse the most recent developments. There are many ways you can contribute, and I encourage you to contact our organization soon.”
Kostya Kovalenko, Director of Finance
Kostya joins BABU as the new Director of Finance for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Kostya’s expertise has been a strong addition to the BABU team.
Natasha Lane, Research Director
In the summer of 2012 I had the privilege of travelling to Kathmandu to volunteer with BABU. Among my first impressions of BABU’s partner hospitals was the overwhelming effort put forth by administrators and health care personnel to provide the best patient care they could with whatever resources they had. As I helped deliver some of BABU’s innovative programs in infection control and rural relief, I was blown away by the incredible changes BABU’s interventions facilitated among our highly motivated hospital collaborators. As an MD/PhD student with a research focus in health outcomes and program evaluation, I became interested in measuring what the most effective components of BABU’s programs were. My goal as BABU’s Research Director is to develop an evidence base that guides the spread and adaptation of our interventions as we partner with hospitals throughout Kathmandu. To achieve this, I have formulated a series of short and long-term research projects to be conducted by BABU staff and volunteers over the coming years. The findings from this work will be meaningful not only to BABU’s program design, but for all NGO’s looking to facilitate health care improvement in global health settings.