PRESS RELEASE – A FIVE-DAY basic to advance endoscopy training workshop has commenced for doctors and nurses at Victoria Hospital. The training is being conducted by a team of UK specialists, courtesy of a grant from the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG).
A donation of over £10,000 of endoscopy equipment was also presented by the specialist team to the Victoria Hospital.
Endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure used to examine the digestive tract using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached, allowing a doctor to view images of the digestive tract on a TV monitor.
Consultant gastroenterologist, Dr. Pradeep Mundre, who three years ago conducted endoscopy training in St. Lucia, was impressed with the level of endoscopy being offered on island.
“This time round, we would like to take it further by imparting skills that we have in therapeutic endoscopy, which is basically removing polyps and stopping bleeding from the stomach, removing polyps from the stomach, colons and all that.
“The field of endoscopy has significantly changed over the last ten years. There are many things requiring surgery in the past that these days are done minimally invasively with a camera. So we want to impart this knowledge and skills so that certain things which were traditionally done by surgery can be done endoscopically these days and the patient going home the same day.”
The four-member team of specialists is headed by Dr. SullemanMoreea, Consultant gastroenterologist/hepatologist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals. He has high hopes for endoscopy in St. Lucia and expressed his delight in having at least ten doctors and nurses participate in this round of training.
“We with the BSG (British Society of Gastroenterology) would like St. Lucia to be the hub for teaching of endoscopy in this area, and I believe this is possible because I have been here several times and I have seen the level of your doctors.
“I am very impressed by the enthusiasm of the doctors. So what we plan to do this week in a continuation of what we’ve done in the past. We want to teach new endoscopy, some basic techniques. We want to teach the people we have trained in the past some more advanced techniques, for example, how do we stop a bleeding ulcer and we also what to teach how do you teach the next generation. Our aim is to pass on our knowledge so that people become self-sufficient and can pass on the knowledge to the next generation.”
Consultant surgeon at Victoria Hospital, Dr. Arlette Charles, said the team had previously trained doctors and nurses from Victoria and St. Jude hospitals and this visit is geared at increasing their competences with more advanced techniques. She added that endoscopy is a relatively safe procedure.
“We have on average about three endoscopy lists per week, ranging from anywhere between two or three colonoscopies and endoscopies. We do endoscopies here already; this is to increase the skills-set that we have. It is a very safe procedure, and most endoscopies here are done under light sedation and it is a safe procedure,” she said.
About the donated equipment, Dr. Moreea said: “This is all equipment that we will use during endoscopy to do advanced procedures and also to maintain other equipment that you have here. I would like to add that the training that we will be providing, if that was delivered in the UK, it would come at a cost of around £500 per day per person.”
This training is expected to improve outcomes for endoscopy clients at both Victoria and St. Jude hospitals.