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Local doctors trained in Minimally Invasive Surgery technology

Rwandan doctors will benefit from Belgian doctors’ Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) skills transfer as Rwanda looks to embrace the new technology to improve medical service delivery.

The project is being implemented by the Government of Rwanda in partnership with Belgian Research Academy and High Learning Institution (ARES).

It is aimed at training local surgeons to be able to perform the procedure in Rwandan hospitals to spread the new technology to a bigger number of service beneficiaries.

A team of three Belgian doctorsconducted a five-day MIS training mission Friday where five local surgeons at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) benefited from the new surgery skills.

As a result, over 50 patients were successfully operated on using the new surgery technology.

EgideAbahuje is one of local surgeons benefited from the training at CHUK. He said the new technology will be a huge boost for local surgeons in terms of service delivery and patients’ quicker recovery.

“Previously, we did not manage to get these skills, because our trainers did not have enough skills on the MIS technology, sometimes due to lack of materials. We wish more surgeons were trained so we can serve a bigger number of patients,” he said.

Speaking to The New Times, Dr. Christian Ngongang Ouandji, one of the doctors who were performing the surgery at the hospital, said they look to train their local counterparts so they can keep delivering the service at the hospital.

“We are not only here to operate but also to transfer skills to our fellow surgeons so more patients can access the service through this new technology. With this kind of new technology, the surgery is infection-free, reduces hemorrhage and patients can be discharged a short while after surgery while it also leaves a smaller scar” he said.

Delphine Ingabire is one of the patients who had travelled from Rubavu District looking to get the chance to undergo Laparoscopic surgery. Minutes after the operation, she hailed the new surgery technology as innovative and less painful,.

“I can’t even believe the doctors operated on me because I no longer feel pain compared to what happened to me when I last delivered my child years ago. I wish the technology could spread to other hospitals,” she said.

Dr Théobald Hategekimana, the Director General of CHUK, is confident more surgeons will be trained through the project to increase a number of patients benefiting from the service.

“We usually have surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery at our hospital, but the number is still small. We hope the partnership will help us have more local surgeons trained with hands-on skills on the new technology so that we can satisfy our clients, not only in our hospital but in other referral hospitals,” Hategekimana said.

He revealed that, through the project partnership, more doctors will be sent to Belgium for progressive training on the MIS technology so they can be able to perform MIS surgery in the next five years.

ARES is expected to build a simulation laboratory Center where medical students can get enough hands-on skills that can be key to successfully undertake surgical operations while on duty.

Simulation Laboratory equipment will be provided by Medtronic, a Belgian medical equipment supplier through its current partnership with ARES.