Project Highlights


Across our programme 18,802 operations were performed to restore or repair sight, hearing, mobility, fistula, hydrocephalus and cleft lip.

  • The Lifeline Express hospital train held 9 projects across India; 4,810 people had surgery to reverse their disabling condition. The average number of patients served at each location was 6,000.
  • 102,674 people were screened and received treatment for potentially disabling conditions on board the Jibon Tari Floating Hospital, currently on its 50th project at shorshina, Nesarabad in Pirojpur district.
  • In Zanzibar 50,662 people were screened and treated at the ENT unit we support in Stone Town and 676 were given operations. We supported 53 outreach and mobile camps held in underserved locations across Zanzibar at which 1,078 people received life-changing operations.
  • In Tanzania; 481 children underwent operations for spina-bifida, hydrocephalus, burns, cleft lip or for orthopaedic conditions. They were cared for at the Plaster House during recovery for up to three months.

‘Surgery is often the only therapy that can alleviate disabilities and reduce the risk of death from common conditions’ – World Health Organisation. Yet operations are rarely available to the world’s poorest people.

‘Taking the hospital to the people’

Scant medical facilities in rural areas, long distances to hospitals and lack of money to pay for care means that most people in outlying villages are unlikely ever to receive the treatment they need leaving them unnecessarily disabled and trapped in hardship for life.

IMPACT’s solution is to ‘take the hospital to the people’ in innovative ways tailored to local conditions or to establish static facilities to provide quality medical services in remote areas.

IMPACT India's Lifeline Express Hospital Train

IMPACT India’s Lifeline Express Hospital Train

For example, the Lifeline Express hospital train in India, the ‘Jibon Tari’ floating hospital in Bangladesh, a mobile surgical tent in Nepal and outreach clinics in many countries enable the medical teams IMPACT supports to take surgery and healthcare directly to underserved people.

And a mobile orthopaedic clinic, which we helped to establish in Tanzania, travels into villages to identify children with conditions such as club foot or burned limbs. Treatment and aftercare is provided to get them back on their feet where previously they were often hidden away.

The IMPACT programme is lucky to benefit from the time and experience of volunteer surgeons from many parts of the world who visit our projects to undertake operations and enhance the training of local surgeons. This strategy builds skills and knowledge which remain in the country to be used for the on-going benefit of the poorest people.

There is a short film available about IMPACT’s floating hospital in our media library: Ship of Life.

The Individual IMPACT

IMPACT India’s Lifeline Express hospital train takes medical treatment, surgery and hope to remote parts of India.   Reaching people like Mrs. Bai (70), who became trapped in poverty once her vision failed. Thanks to cataract surgery on board the Lifeline Express she can see again and no longer feels a burden to her family.

Mrs. Bai is just one of the more than 600,000 men, women and children who have recieved treatment or surgery since the hospital train began its journey.

We have also supported our partners in Bangladesh and Tanzania to provide neurosurgery for children with hydrocephalus. In Bangladesh, one in five children with the condition will die before their seventh birthday and more than 50% of them will have some degree of brain damage.

Timely surgery can reduce the risks associated with hydrocephalus and greatly improve an affected child’s quality of life however it is not widely available in the developing world and prohibitively expensive for most families. Our operations are provided free of charge.

Many surgical interventions require a good deal of aftercare to ensure the person benefiting gets the best possible results so we support assistive device centres making callipers and mobility aids in Bangladesh and Nepal and the distribution of high-quality modern hearing aids in Cambodia, India, Nepal and Zanzibar.

£40 is the average cost to IMPACT of restoring sight, movement or hearing to another person in our overseas programme.