Endoscopy training in Malawi supported by charitable funds

The establishment of a therapeutic endoscopy unit in Northern Malawi is being supported by the College's charity fund.

The project, which will be based at Mzuzu Central Hospital, will provide much needed equipment and training for treating patients with oesophageal cancer and bleeding caused by oesophageal varices in the northern region of Malawi.

Malawi has a very high incidence of oesophageal cancer and variceal bleeding, with the latter particularly common due to highly prevalent schistosomiaisis infection of the liver. The main treatments for these in Malawi are endoscopic stent placement and endoscopic band ligation. Mzuzu Central Hospital currently only has very basic endoscopy services and patients from this region need to travel more than five hours for treatment at another hospital in Lilongwe.

Dr Adrian Stanley is a consultant gastroenterologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary who ran successful endoscopic training days in both Lilongwe and Mzuzu during a visit last year and assisted the local endoscopist in placing the first oesophageal stent in northern Malawi.*

With the support of funding from the College's charitable committee, Dr Stanley plans to return to Mzuzu to help set up a fully functioning local therapeutic endoscopy service and provide further on-site training for the local team. Senior endoscopy nurses from other areas of Malawi will also travel to Mzuzu to help train the endoscopy nurses. Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board have agreed to provide fully functioning endoscopy equipment no longer needed in Glasgow.

While visiting the country, Dr Stanley will also be involved in running a formal endoscopy training course at Blantyre with colleagues from Liverpool, which will provide advanced endoscopy training for clinicians and nurses from all the major Malawian hospitals.

The College is delighted to be supporting such a worthwhile project.

If you are involved in a project that requires charitable funding, please complete the application form available to download on the website at http://rcp.sg/charity.

You can read details of Dr Stanley's previous trip to Malawi in College News: http://collegenews.rcp.sg/spring2013

* Dr Stanley's earlier training visit to Malawi was funded by THET (Tropical Health and Education Trust) via the Liverpool-Welcome Trust Malawi link
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