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Geanco Foundation Collabs Life Hospital, Train 28 Doctors, Do Free Surgeries - Health - Nairaland

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Geanco Foundation Collabs Life Hospital, Train 28 Doctors, Do Free Surgeries by IzunnaOkafor(m): 11:55am On Nov 27, 2022
By Izunna Okafor, Awka

An American-based Geanco Foundation in collaboration with Life International Hospital Awka, Anambra State have trained 28 medical doctors from different states of the Federation on Laparoscopic Surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique used in the abdominal and pelvic areas in which the doctor don't open the patient's stomach. It uses the aid of a laparoscope — a thin, telescopic rod with a camera at the end — to see inside your body without opening it all the way up. Instead of the 6- to 12-inch cut necessary for open abdominal surgery, laparoscopic surgery uses two to four small incisions of half an inch or less. One is for the camera, and the others are for the surgical instruments. Minimally invasive surgery may also be called “keyhole surgery,” referring to these small incisions.

Laparoscopic surgery is becoming the preferred method for a growing list of common operations, due to its cost-saving benefits and improved patient outcomes. The list includes: Ovarian cyst, fibroid, stone, and polyp removals, Small tumor removals, Tubal ligation and reversal, Ectopic pregnancy removal, Endometriosis surgery, Urethral and vaginal reconstruction surgery, Orchiopexy (testicle correction surgery), Rectopexy (rectal prolapse repair), Hernia repair surgery.

Others include Gastric bypass surgery, Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) for gallstones, Appendectomy (appendix removal) for appendicitis, Colectomy (bowel resection surgery), Abdominoperineal resection (rectum removal), Cystectomy (bladder removal), Prostatectomy (prostrate removal), Adrenalectomy (adrenal gland removal), Nephrectomy (kidney removal), Splenectomy (spleen removal), Radical nephroureterectomy (for transitional cell cancer), Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) for pancreatic cancer, Gastrectomy (stomach removal), hysterectomy (womb removal) and Liver resection.

This is why Geanco Foundation in partnership with Life International Hospital Awka brought a team of three specialist surgeons from the United States of America to Awka to train Nigerian doctors on the foundamentals of Laparoscopy surgery.

The team arrived on Saturday, began training on Sunday morning and ended on Thursday at the Endo Lab of Life International Hospital Awka.

The Mission Lead for the Geanco Laparoscopic Surgery to Life International Hospital Awka, Nigeria, Dr Kevin El-Hayek, an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, the MetroHealth System, Ohio, USA said the target was to instill a passion to provide More opportunities for Minimal Access surgery to the people in Nigeria.

"I want everyone from this training to go home to their communities to continue to build on these skills. We have given them the inspiration to continue their training to practice and to become leaders in minimum access surgery.

"Everyday we did didatic lectures in the morning, lectures on various types of laparoscopic surgeries, had our hands on simulation lab session where we taught them techniques outside the human body and had live operations everyday. We had on the average 6 to 8 operations per day where the trainees participated as assistants and we taught them different strategies of the surgery. We have a team of 4 surgeons. Support team Afam Onyema CEO Geanco and Obinna Okoye in charge of logistics. Other support team staff here already in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Dr Ronnie Sullines, a Pediatric Surgeon from University of California, Los Angeles, USA said she was overwhelmed and impressed by the hunger, enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge that this training has brought.

"I think it will be very easy for them with this free programme to coast through and update their knowledge in advanced medicine in the area of surgical operations.

"Technology in medicine is hard because new technology also comes with commensurate responsibility to use it appropriately and to introduce it with the support from the hospital which Life hospital has provided bearing in mind that surgery is a teamwork. The team are the people which include pre and post diagnosis, the OR staff, the surgeons, trainees, hospital administration and ethics of the mission. To have the support and talk about them, even those outside medicine is really important from top to bottom.

"Life International Hospital already has that and all we had to do was to train skilled surgeons to keep the surgery here. Three of us: Dr Kevin El-Hayek came on his first mission in 2019 and observed the challenges that he found in Life International Hospital. Then in 2021, he included Dr Biban Chan and myself. Then Charese Love who is our glue and works behind the scene. Dr Ronnie specialises in Peadiatric surgery, Dr El-Hayek specialises in Minimal Access Surgery and Bipan, Minimal Access General Surgery.

Giving the statistics of how many surgeries they had within the period of this training, Mr Agu Munachimso, ICT Officer, Life International Hospital Awka said 37 persons where operated on, and have all been discharged.

Leveraging on the successes created by Life International Hospital, Munachimso said creating environment where everyone can benefit and give back to the society, which Prof Ikechebelu has done at Life International Hospital, is how a standard Nigerian hospital should be.

According to him, all the 28 trainees were given certificate at the end of the five day training while all the trainers came from the US except Prof Ikechebelu who also lectured the trainees on Laparoscopic surgery.

The three specialist surgeons and two support members from the US came to Awka for the exercise, were given different titles to reflect their identities and herald the end of the 2022 medical mission to Nigeria. They are Dr Kevin El-Hayek, Dr Bipan Chan, Dr Ronnie Sullines, Afam Onyema and Charese Love.

Trainees took turns to express satisfaction in the training, which they said, has widened their scope in learning advanced form of surgery.

One of the trainees, Dr Patrick Esie, Head of Clinical Services Holds Hospital Abuja and also Medical Director, Silver Cross Hospital Abuja described the training as fantastic and greatly rewarding.

"I have been to so many trainings both in Nigeria and abroad. This one is so special because it is futuristic. A lot of tranings we do today, you have to open the person up surgically to do all the beautiful things doctors do to save lives like, appendectomies, ectopic pregnancy, fibroid etc. The old ways of doing this. Now Geanco Foundation in collaboration with Life International Hospital brought 3 specialist Surgeons from Los Angeles and they spent the last seven days training surgeons from all over the country on this advanced method of surgery called Laparoscopic surgery where you don't have to open the individual up and still get better result. Because if we do an open surgery, your stay in the hospital for five to seven days but if it is laparoscopic on the same case, you can go home that day. So that's the beauty of laparoscopic surgery

On why he was honoured with a book gift, Dr Patrick said "I was shocked, excited and extremely honoured by that gift. This was because we had a particular difficult case that required a lot of doctors' intervention and monitoring. I and the lead surgeon, Dr Ronnie who did the surgery, were very concerned about the patient's outcome...post surgery. The patient had delayed recovery from anaesthesia. She said she gonna stay here untill the patient wakes up but I asked her to go so that I will keep a watchful eye on the patient until the patient recover fully. It happened exactly that way. I did the monitoring and patient recovered fully and I was giving her update all through the night. And being a visiting surgeon, if anything had happened to the patient, she won't have been happy. I did that because it's my calling as a doctor and I didn't expect her to take it too far with the gift of a book. However, you see how people are honoured because of little things they do, which is better than doing an excellent surgery. You need to have that human heart that this could be your son or daughter. Dr Ronnie just celebrated it showing that this is the principle that doctors should imbibe world over.

As whether the surgery won't have any side effect, Dr Esie said like laparoscopic surgery even if you have been trained in knowledge, it needs a lot of resources and very expensive too if we want to practice to the level that Life International Hospital has attained. However, the Europeans and Americans have advanced laparoscopic surgery to the point that once they put you to sleep, they will just create a small open hole where we put our probe as though we want to look inside and with that hole, laparoscopic surgery takes place.

"In overseas, 80% of their surgery are laparoscopic. Nobody cuts anybody's body for surgery except for ceasarean section (CS) for delivery.

"On this, we thank Geanco Foundation in the sense that it takes a lot for somebody who is comfortable to remember that where he is coming from, there are still a lot of issues and try to pull resources to close that gap. A candle loses nothing to lit another candle, and in Africa, we fail to realise that. All of us here will implement this outcome in next five years to upgrade our medical practice as doctors by changing the landscape of medical practice in our various places of work. It equally gives room for expert referrals.

"Geanco Foundation in collaboration with Life International Hospital Awka has brought this knowledge and made it open for us to learn. Am so inspired by Prof Ikechebelu, a pioneer in his own right and it took him a lot to build himself to this capacity and has opened his facility for this training but most people who have attained this height of enlightenment, hurd knowledge. We have facilities of this nature in some other parts of the country but nobody allows you to come near their facility for free or even watch because they know that when you see, you have mastered it. Prof Ikechebelu aside from facilitating this training, also set up a training institute where we can get formal training. He is indeed an extraordinary individual who is concerned about the healthcare of Nigerians."

Another trainee, Dr Usman Samuel Ganjo from University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Surgery Dept who has been to this training at Life International Hospital twice, said he learnt so many things and as well, interfaced with friends.

"I was able to do Laparoscopic surgery on my own for the very first time. Last year I came I was taught, I followed the steps of mentors and it was great and this time around I learnt a lot, I was privileged to be helped with
Endoscopic and Laparoscopic training equipments; that will take me further. So when am going now, am not just a learner but somebody that can do Laparoscopic surgery to an extent. In UNIMAID, we don't do Laparoscopic surgery, we have the equipments, but we don't have the general surgery expertise to do that. Three doctors came from UNIMAID this year, myself, Dr Harrison and Lukman. Last year was two.

On his own part, Prof Joseph Ikechebelu reeled out the success stories in Life International hospital with respect to being atune with training and facilitating advanced surgical practice.

"Now we have a online platformed called AlwaysLife Institute. You can sit at the comfort of your home, take the lectures and listen to all the lectures, do the quizzes and every other thing and exercise yourself very well. Thereafter you book a date for physical hands on at the Life International Hospital facility where there will be instructors on ground to take you through live sessions and hands on exercises. This is how we have structured it so that you don't need to spend too much time physically here but quality time and gain as much as possible. Thats the package we have made. So feel free to visit the website: alwayslifeinstitute.com. When you get there, look at the information, subscribe to the courses so that you continue your learning online. I welcome you to alwaylife global campus where the next level of laparoscopic training is coming on.

"Am sure it's important for you so that you continue your learning. Laparoscopy has a long learning curve because we started it at advanced age of our training, the learning period can be shortened by your passion, which you can attain.

"If we start getting the laparoscopic training online and telling you how to do it, it will facilitate many people mastering it and our people will be better for it".

Mr Afam Onyema, CEO of Geanco Foundation said the foundation is into healthcare and educational work in Nigeria.

"We're here on a medical mission. It's been done since 2005, surgical missions, hip and knee replacement. We've done minimally invasive surgery missions in 2018, 2021 and then 2022 and mainly involves issues concerning the Hernia, Gallbladder, Appendix, internal surgeries. So we have 3 surgeons here; 1 Pediatric surgeon and 2 Adult general surgeons. We’ve done 30+ surgeries over the past 5 days.

On what motivated him to start up this kind foundation, Mr Onyema said it was born out of serving people and trying to give back to the society especially people in need. I was born in USA but my parents are Nigerians. So am trying to give back, help and support.

"We have 28 trainees, doctors of different levels both consultants and resident doctors. They were here from Sunday evening through Thursday, about four and a half days of training. They went to the OR and assisted in the surgeries, practiced with the instruments, had lectures at the conference room(video and audio learning).so they were able to learn in three different ways.

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