Interplast has delivered a surgical mentoring and physiotherapy mentoring programme to Vanuatu from May 31 to June 7, 2019 at Vila Central Hospital.

The general plastic and reconstructive surgical mentoring programme was led by Dr Ian Holten (Surgeon) with Dr Robert Grace (Anaesthetist), Dr Mark Duncan-Smith (Surgeon), Ms Susan McMillan (Nurse) and Ms Natalie Lambden (Nurse).

 It was arranged through collaboration with the local partners at the hospital, Dr Samuel Kemuel and Dr Tony Harry.  

Dr Samuel said that Interplast is part of a Pacific islands regional project which this year had provided the mentor programs to local doctors to relate the skills and trainings given to perform surgical operations.

He said mostly, they assisted doctors during operations which in turn allow Ni- Van doctors to slowly own the programs in carrying out operations themselves towards the future.

Dr Samuel said that the team had dealt mostly with children patients from the children ward. The operations varied around reconstructions mainly with scars of burn contradictions and cleft lip palate operations.

He confirmed that about 30 patients throughout Vanuatu have attended the operations with about 17-18 operations performed mostly on kids. Dr Samuel confirmed that the children’s ward has decreased in numbers in regards to the operations pointing that over 90% of patients have been stabled and are returning home.

Dr Samuel also mentioned that patients will be reviewed after one week to make sure that they are no ongoing issues, so they may return home as soon as possible. He acknowledged the Australia High Commission (AHC) for providing the assistance to VCH in providing them with the skills carryout future related cases.

Dr Mark Duncan-Smith said that they have been doing multiple operations at VCH, with all turning out positively. Dr Mark said that they are also reviewing patients who have undergone operations since they arrived and some a couple of years back, pointing out that so far outcomes are very good.

He acknowledged the people and the government of Vanuatu, with the VCH for having the team back and looks forward to each year to come back and do more helping.

The program was funded by the Australian Government NGO Cooperation Programme (ANCP).

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