In 2008 during a visit to St Lucia I met with the Medical Director of St Jude Hospital, Dr Sylvestre Francois, who invited me to teach GI endoscopy at St Jude Hospital.
In 2009 I set up the Endoscopy Unit at St Jude hospital with a generous donation of a Pentax stack, four gastroscopes and three colonoscopes from the Yorkshire Clinic, Bingley, UK. Sadly, the surgical wing of that hospital burnt down only 10 days after the unit was set up with the loss of all the equipment. There were three casualties during this fire. I set out to obtain more equipment to restart that unit and fortunately Olympus kindly donated a stack with two gastroscopes and two colonoscopes. In addition, through a generous gift from one of the banks in St Lucia along with my personal contribution, another refurbished Pentax stack was acquired with two gastroscopes, two colonoscopes and one duodenoscope for St Jude.
The Ministry of Health of St Lucia, in the meantime, acquired an Olympus stack, one gastroscope and one colonoscope for Victoria hospital.
In 2013, I helped to set up the endoscopy units at both Victoria hospital and St Jude hospital. In 2014 I ran another workshop for both hospitals. This work was done in my own personal time along with one of the endoscopy sisters from Bradford and an endoscopy nurse from Mauritius.
As the demand for training grew, I realised that I needed help to continue this work, and I hence applied for a grant from the BSG.
Outcomes of the GI endoscopy workshop:
- Reinforcement of diagnostic skills and training of therapeutic skills for 6 doctors – as described above
- One physician taken through his first 20 gastroscopies with a plan for further training
- 10 nurses trained to support diagnostic and therapeutic upper and lower GI endoscopy
- Introduction to training the trainers for doctors and nurses
- Involvement of the Minister of Health to help expand GI endoscopy in St Lucia
Dr Sulleman M Moreea