Kathmandu to Dhaka: Charity motorcycle journey documentary gets Pontardawe premiere

A documentary that records a charity motorcycle journey by two families from Kathmandu, Nepal to Dhaka, Bangladesh has been premiered at Pontardawe Arts Centre.

K2D,

The film, entitled K2D, follows burns and plastic surgeon, Professor Tom Potokar of Swansea University’s Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy & Research based at the College of  Human and Health Sciences, his wife Dominique, and their two children Arthur and Alex on a 1200 mile sponsored motorcycle trip in October 2014 to raise awareness about burn injuries and to raise funds for his charity Interburns which is an international network for training, education and research in burns. Dominique is a qualified burns nurse who at the time of the trip had recently completed the Return to Practice course at Swansea University.

They were joined on their journey, by fellow plastic surgeon and Interburns team member Sian Falder from Alderhey Childrens Hospital, her husband Caradoc and their two children Eleanor and Owen.

View the K2D trailer here

The charity trip, which has so far raised nearly £40,000, helps fund Interburns which is an international volunteer network of expert health care professionals who work to transform burn care and prevention in low and middle income countries.  The organisation delivers high quality training, education and research at minimal cost and over the last decade has trained over 3,000 health care professionals to provide good quality care to burns patients.

The documentary, by filmmaker Tom Woodrow from Llanelli, trails the families as they travel on their 500cc Royal Enfield Desert Storm motorbikes and navigate their way, not always successfully,  across Nepal, North East India and into Bangladesh.

The film also shows how the children, who were aged between 11 and 15 years old, coped with the trials and tribulations of life on the road and what they found out about the problem of global burn injuries. Also Dominique and Sian had to face the added challenge of only having passed their motorcycle tests a few weeks before the departure.

Along the way the families met with burns staff and patients and the money raised will be used to improve burn care and prevention.

Professor Potokar:When we embarked on this journey, it wasn’t your typical holiday but a trip with a purpose. Approximately 30,000 people are burned in the world every day and 95 per cent of them live in low and middle income countries, we set out to raise awareness and funds to try address the terrible suffering burns cause to millions of people across the world.”

Burns - key facts

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described burns as the forgotten global public health crisis
  • Worldwide nearly 11 million people each year suffering burns severe enough to require medical attention, whereas burn prevention programmes training and burn care services are under-resourced.
  • 95% of burns occur in low and middle income countries and 70% of these injuries affect children (WHO 2011)
  • The best burn centres in high income countries can save burn patients with burns over 90% of the body’s surface area, while in low and middle income countries deeper burns of over 40% are almost invariably fatal.
  • Nearly four million women in low income countries are severely burnt each year, a similar number to those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.
  • The global epicentre of burns injuries is South-East Asia; in this region, three times as many women are burnt than contract HIV and AIDS. Burns in India are one of the commonest cause of death of women between 15-30 years (The Lancet 2009).
  • Fire-related burns are the sixth leading cause of death among 5–14 year olds. Burns are in the top five causes of injury that impact child mortality and morbidity and after the age of five, and injuries are the biggest threat to a child’s survival (WHO / UNICEF 2008).