A group of four ABMU Health Board staff (Consultants, Dr Paul Duane, Dr Umakant Dave, Dr Mesbah Rahman and endoscopy staff nurse, Mr Mark Hillier) and a senior technician/ tutor (Mr Stuart Goddard) from Cardiff University visited Bangladesh between 12th and 18th of February 2015 to conduct GI endoscopy and ERCP training workshops. ABM University Health Board, British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) and Bangladesh Gastroenterology Society (BGS) support this project. This was second visit by the group. We performed a full day of live ERCP workshop (video linked between endoscopy unit and a meeting hall) and a hand-on workshop for ERCP assistants. A high level of excitement was created by use of plastic and animal tissue models for participants to practice both upper & lower GI endoscopic therapies and ERCP techniques. This was the first workshop using such models in Bangladesh and was described as a “milestone and ground breaking for endoscopy training in Bangladesh” by the President & General Secretary of BGS. The feedback received from the participants after the events were excellent or very good.
We selected Bangladesh as our project venue as it is one of the poorest countries amongst the booming economies of Asia (161 out of 183 in world ranking of various parameters by the UN & WHO). Based on the achievements of the first visit two years ago, the BSG has awarded further funding to this project. Senior Gastroenterologists from Bangladesh have been trained in “Training the Endoscopy Trainer (TET)” principles and a local technician has been trained in preparing and maintaining tissue models. Four small, two medium sized and one large model have been donated to the BGS with a planned workshop to be conducted by local trainers in four months time.
In addition to a rewarding second visit to Bangladesh, we have achieved other successes. Medical student exchange is being established between the College of Medicine, Swansea and Dhaka Medical College. We have established a charity to continue the project (registered with charity commission, UK, as Gastroenterology Training Academy Registration no: 1150282) and are organising fund raising events. All donations are welcome (contact – Dr Mesbah Rahman Tel: 01639-862544 or Dr Umakant Dave Tel: 01792-703881). A number of Bangladeshi Gastroenterologists has joined the BSG as overseas members and more have shown interest to become members. We have provided some input in the production of draft guidelines on minimum quality standards in endoscopy for the BGS. A draft proposal on the development of Bangladesh endoscopy training centre is being prepared.