US Medical Brigade Begins Two-Week Surgical and Dental Care Mission

Members of the US Medical Brigade
Members of the US Medical Brigade

A U.S. medical brigade will be operating at the Owen King E.U. Hospital for the next two weeks, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Sharon-Belmar George indicated yesterday.

According to the CMO, this is an excellent opportunity to provide care to individuals.

At a welcome ceremony on Tuesday, Belmar-George expressed her gratitude to the United States Military Medical Mission: “I’m really happy after having discussions with you over the last six months to actually see you here in person. I also want to say thank you.  During the last three years as you know, most countries experienced the effects of COVID so we have had backlogs of surgical cases and we also had very long lists of patients who require dental care, especially some of our differently-abled persons who needed to have certain surgical procedures,” Belmar-George said.

“This really provides us with an excellent opportunity… especially for those who are less fortunate who may not be able to afford and may not get the opportunity. I look forward to the surgical mission (and the) dental mission and also to the expertise and training that you will be providing to our teams here on the island. Our teams are very excited and we look forward over the next two weeks to working closely with you as we make this mission a success,” she added.

The team arrived in Saint Lucia yesterday.

Minor surgical and dental procedures and medication will be provided free of charge to Saint Lucian’s in need of the care being offered. These include the removal of cysts and masses, hernia repair, other minor surgical procedures, and laparoscopic procedures. These procedures will be carried out at the Owen King European Hospital (OKEU).

Dental services will include extractions, fillings, caries stabilization, and dental hygiene-related services/cleaning and intraoperative extractions. These procedures will be carried out at the La Clery Wellness Center from 8: 30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily during the course of the mission.

Other activities include Emergency Medicine Training, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support training, and laparoscopy training.

Health Minister Moses Jn Baptiste on Monday told members of the press that “over the last few weeks we did advise Saint Lucians to register at the various health and wellness centers and a number of Saint Lucians have registered for medical services.”

“The Ministry of Health is operating jointly with the Ministry of External Affairs … we look forward to the services which will be provided by the U.S. medical brigade and updates will be provided. Arrangements have been made at the Owen King EU Hospital and they will be working with our local medical professionals and hopefully, a number of Saint Lucians will get assistance,” Jn Baptiste added.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millennium Heights Medical Complex (MHMC) Dexter James also welcomed the brigade.

“My task is a very simple one: to welcome the U.S. Medical Mission here at the Millennium Heights Medical Complex and to say how pleased we are to have you here providing this humanitarian support to the people of Saint Lucia. We anticipate over the next two weeks about sixty patients would receive surgery here of different types. I assure you that the theatres here are second to none,” James told the Medical Mission.

He noted that “you (will) have a team of dedicated and well-trained nursing staff, anaesthesiologists and surgical staff as well. We look forward to the sharing of expertise over the next two weeks.”

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