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Surgeons working on Frugal Innovations to decrease surgery costs

Over 300 international Researchers, Engineers, Surgeons and Innovators convened in Mombasa, courtesy of The Operating Theatre Practitioners Association of Kenya (OTPAK) for their second International Congress for Innovation Global Surgery (ICIGS).

The conference themed, Translating Innovations, aimed at promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in innovation in global surgery and promoting safe access to Surgical Obstetric Trauma and Anesthesia (SOTA) care in rural settings of East Africa.

This being the first conference to held in Africa after the initial one was done in India, focused on innovations with a view to enhancing surgical services

The Conference held different practical workshops’ innovations like Wide Awake Local Anesthesia (WALANT), Gas Insufflation Less Laparoscopic Surgery (GILLS), Flexible Endoscopy, LAP Cystoscopy, among others which have proven to be frugal solutions towards problems faced by Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC’S).

Addressing the media at Sarova Whitesands, the chairman of OTPAK Pankaj Jani said during the two-day conference they operated on patients, providing endoscopy and offered WALANT services at the Coast Provisional General Hospital.

The operations conducted were to showcase the innovations and machines that the Surgeons brought that have since enhanced surgery services.

“We are focusing on frugal innovations in LMICs which leads to better patient management and better training and that was the main purpose of the meeting,” Jani said.

“The frugal innovations will decrease the costs and impacts of surgery to the patients,” he added.

Meanwhile, WALANT services are now being provided in about 25 hospitals in the country.

Jani said that they are working to increase the number of trained surgeons in the country by providing training services in rural areas to enhance surgery services, which will lead to less referrals.

“We have a mobile innovative X-ray machine that does not require any protective gears, when taking x-rays and we have also donated devices to the Kisii and Kiambu Hospitals to conduct Laparoscopic surgeries,” he said.

Other stakeholders in the conference included the Mombasa County Government, Mombasa Cement, and The British Society for Surgery of the Hand, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, among other international institutions.

The Mombasa county secretary and Head of Public Service Jeizan Faruk graced the event on behalf of the county administration.

Faruk said that health was one of their top priorities as a county, so as to provide adequate, affordable and high quality medical care to its citizens.

“We have invested heavily in health care units in the county and ensured well trained health care professionals so that the citizens of Mombasa can access medical services just near their doorsteps,” he said.

The county secretary welcomed new innovations in the medical field, adding that they will continue to disseminate such valuable advancement in knowledge through continuous training of the health workers.

By Fatuma Said

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