By Amin Kef (Ranger)
Choithram Memorial Hospital (CMH) on the 6th August, 2023 held a Press Conference at the hospital’s conference room in the wake of conducting a two day workshop that was geared towards providing knowledge on how to operationalize the laparoscopic equipment for surgical purposes as well to build the capacity of public, private surgeons and medical students on how to operate the new technology in the country.
In attendance were the Deputy Chief Medical Officer-Ministry of Health Dr. Mustapha S. Kabba, the Medical Superintendent –CMH-Dr Gowrinath M George, Dr. Daniel Lavaly-Orthopedic Consultant at Choithram Hospital, Medical Experts from Max Healthcare in India, Dr Nagender Sharma, Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxema, the Laparoscopic General Surgeon from Max Healthcare, Dr. Atul Wadhwa, Dr. Gordon Harris – Medical Consultant at Choithram and the Press.
Dr. Gowrinath M. George welcomed all further stating that on the 5th and 6th August, 2023 the hospital introduced one of the latest technologies used for conducting surgeries after procuring the Laparoscopic equipment which it has installed in its facility. He noted that they decided to conduct a two day workshop, during the two days, targeting surgeons (in public and private health facilities) plus interested medical students as participants. “Live surgeries were done on some patients free of cost and streamed in this conference room for the benefit of the participants,” he added underscoring how the main objective was to build the capacity of local medical personnel on how to operationalize the equipment. He pointed out that the main purpose of convening the Press engagement was to intimate newsmen the outcomes of the two day workshop.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mustapha S. Kabba, informed the Press that the workshop was well conducted. He maintained that as surgeon himself, he was very passionate about the training as it is the aim of Government to ensure that laparoscopic surgery is well entrenched in the country.
Dr Kabba disclosed how surgeries were successfully conducted with no complications experienced. He said out of three cases of surgeries conducted two were related to gall bladder removal from two female adults who were showcased to journalists present. He maintained that if it was the older form of surgery that was done on them they could not be in their midst stressing that the patients will soon be discharged. The Deputy CMO said one of the biggest advantages of the new technology is that it lessens the time a patient spends in recovery. With regards the third case, he revealed that it had to be postponed because of medical reason but assured that it will be done in a couple of days. He mentioned another case which he said led to diagnosing the patient whose ailing condition was known and later treated.
According to him, another good thing was that they incorporated resident doctors, about thirteen of them, in the training as well as some of the nursing staff. He also informed journalists how the Ministry of Health is working towards extending the equipment to other Government medical facilities revealing that both the Princess Christian Maternal Hospital (Popularly known as Cottage Hospital) and the Connaught Hospital are on the verge of introducing the use of the equipment. He added that when that is achieved they intend to create a network wherein Choithram will take the lead to adequately train medical personnel on how to use the equipment.
“It is part of official plans to have a rotational round of medical personnel to be periodically work in medical facilities both at home and in other countries,” he expressed optimism adding that there is need for a workshop of a similar nature like the one conducted to be intensified as well as simulation exercises and ended up expressing gratitude to Choithram Memorial Hospital for availing the people of this country free medical opportunities.
On his part, Dr. Daniel Lavaly-Orthopedic Consultant at Choithram Hospital revealed that they were able to screen up to 150 patients out of which 80 were treated for various complications. He said together with Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxema, they performed a surgery on an 11 years old boy , who because of socio-economic conditions his relatives were not able to facilitate treatment for him, disclosing that the surgery was successful and will be discharged on that same day.
Dr. Lavaly maintained that the significance of public-private partnership in enhancing medical health care cannot be overemphasized adding that collaboration could raise the bar high in availing medical care to many.
Dr Gordon Harris, another Consultant Specialist at Choithram Hospital said they are happy about this new development which he considered as a stepping stone to more things that to come adding that in the medical field interns are sent to different affiliate health facilities for training of which Choithram happens to be one of them stressing that through this structural arrangement other aspiring medical students will learn more on how to operate the equipment.
The General Surgeon from Max Healthcare, Dr. Atul Wadhwa, expressed delight over the collaboration with Choithram Hospital extending good luck to all the participants of the workshop in their future endeavours stating that they are always ready to help where it is necessary and possible to do so.
Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxema, another expert from Max Healthcare pointed out that the people of this country made use of the medical opportunity as he was overwhelmed with the number of turnout. He commended Choithram for providing cutting edge medical care and expressed willingness to make meaningful contributions in the future.
The highpoint of the Press Conference was a question and answer session during which the Deputy CMO responded to a question by pointing out that one of greatest merits of Laparoscopic Surgery is minimizing the time patients spend in facilities while recovering and gave a breakdown of the statistics of those who directly benefited as: 16 patients went through orthopedic treatment, another 16 went through oncology treatment with 1 Bariatric Surgery on the 5th August,2023 were as 1 patient underwent diagnostic laparoscopy and 2 went through orthopedic surgical procedure on Day 2, the 6th August,2023.