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St Ann's Bay hospital offers cutting-edge laparoscopic surgery

Published:Wednesday | June 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Calvin Solomon and Kerry-Ann Lee of AA Laquis, distributors of laparoscopic equipment locally, explain how the equipment works to Joan Henry (right), Alliance of Jamaican and American Humanitarians board member, during the training seminar at the Riu hotel on Sunday. AA Laquis had equipment on show at the seminar. - PHOTO BY CARL GILCHRIST

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:

AN INJECTION of equipment and training by the Alliance of Jamaican and American Humanitarians (AOJAH) has seen the introduction of laparoscopic surgery to the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital.

The AOJAH, which is currently on its first medical and education mission to Jamaica, has donated laparoscopic equipment valued at over US$129,000 (over J$11 million) and is training medical personnel at the hospital in their usage. The team, consisting of 50 persons, will also be conducting medical, eye and dental clinics in schools and communities across St Ann.

The process started on Sunday with a training lecture at the Riu Hotel in Mammee Bay, where more than 80 medical personnel turned out. It continues this week with hands-on training at the hospital, using the equipment donated by the Los Angeles-based AOJAH.

"As of now, laparoscopic surgery will be available at the St Ann's Bay hospital," a pleased Dr Ian Titus, head of the department of surgery at the hospital, told The Gleaner on Sunday.

"We have between 15 and 20 persons who will undergo procedures to remove gall bladder (cholecystectomy) and gynaecological operations," said Titus in explaining the advantages of the new procedure. "One advantage is the dramatic reduction in time required to do surgery," Titus said.

"For example, for the removal of the gall bladder, normally when you do it by the open procedure, the patient spends four or five days in hospital. By this technique, the patient comes in the morning, gets it done and goes home the same evening."

According to president of the AOJAH, Joan Crawford, the two-year-old organisation would be involved in education.

AID FOR medical MISSION

"AOJAH brought down the equipment, we've donated to St Ann's Bay hospital. In addition, we have brought in medication and supplies to do our medical mission," explained Crawford.

"Our medical mission will be in several areas in St Ann, in the rural areas, for instance, in Bensonton, Queenhythe, Watt Town."

A 40-foot container with medical equipment for the St Ann's Bay hospital is also on the way.

Donaree Trail, ward sister at the hospital, was among those who attended the training seminar at Riu hotel.

"The training will help me to expand my knowledge base, especially in the area of treatment of hypertension and surgery," Trail said.

"It is definitely beneficial to us, because we treat a lot of patients, so it's important to be aware of the latest developments and current trends in modern medicine," she added.

rural@gleanerjm.com