Through the four-month mission, medical suppliers visited the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Republic of Palau, and Federated States of Micronesia from October 2023 to February 2024.
Cmdr. Erik Olson, a U.S. Navy surgeon was one of many many medical suppliers that performed side-by-side surgical procedures with host nation surgeons to share capabilities and information in surgical care.
One instance of side-by-side surgical procedures was carried out onboard USNS Mercy, the place Olson labored alongside Dr. Glenda Santos, a basic surgeon with Belau Nationwide Hospital in Palau.
“I really like the truth that we’ve developed a partnership,” mentioned Santos. “The educational may be very precious for us as a result of we’ve very restricted assets on the hospital. These studying side-by-side alternatives are actually precious, not only for me, however for all the opposite medical doctors who’ve benefited from this go to by Mercy ship medical doctors.”
Aspect-by-sides are a important a part of the medical line of effort for Pacific Partnership, which works to enhance host nation medical capabilities. Pacific Partnership is concentrated on collective capability constructing which has developed from the earlier method that centered on offering direct care. Any direct care supplied is shoulder-to-shoulder with the host and accomplice nations so as to share information and abilities which are enduring and relevant effectively after the mission.
“We did a laparoscopic cholecystectomy which implies eradicating the gallbladder with small devices and a digital camera,” mentioned Olson. “That surgical procedure takes anyplace from about half-hour to about an hour and a half relying on the severity of the affected person’s gallbladder illness.”
Laparoscopy is a surgical process through which a fiber-optic instrument is inserted by way of the stomach wall to view the organs within the stomach or to allow a surgical process.
“We would not have laparoscopic surgical procedure capabilities in our hospital, so this provides us an excellent studying alternative and publicity to most of these surgical procedures,” mentioned Santos. “Hopefully sooner or later once we do get the devices, we will carry out the surgical procedures.”
The side-by-side coaching allowed Mercy surgeons to depart a long-lasting influence on the medical capabilities of the host nations visited throughout Pacific Partnership.
“I really like the chance to work with our host nations,” Olson mentioned. “Dr. Santos hasn’t executed laparoscopic surgical procedure in a number of years. To have the ability to give her a refresher, and hopefully give her some ammunition for getting these assets, is a really rewarding expertise.”