26th November – 3rd December 2016
Since last year, a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, pediatricians, family medicine practitioners and nurses have been operating at a large orphanage and township clinic in Kyaikto, Mon State, Myanmar. Providing surgical services in a rural setting comes with many challenges, as entire logistical support is required to carry out safe and effective surgeries. We had to deal with power outages and hygiene issues at the destination which required improvisation and innovation. Each year, we endeavour to perform additional special projects such as dental services, paediatric surgical services and this year, to improve an outdoor kitchen at an orphanage. Our students are deeply involved in educational exchanges with local students as well as painting of wall murals. In all, the SOUL mission has enabled the team to learn many skills of operating in rural localities and to fulfill the educational mandate of our institution.
15th – 19th November 2015
28th October – 3rd November 2015
5th – 10th September 2015
1st - 2nd June 2015
11th – 15th January 2015
Our medical students were involved in the outpatient clinics, scrubbed for the operative procedures and had special tutorials conducted for them. Unusual cases were also highlighted for their attention & subsequent study. We conducted training courses for the local surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses, and all of the local staff were intimately involved in the planning, surgery and postoperative care of their patients. In addition, an AO Craniomaxillofacial surgery training course was conducted for close to 100 local surgeons.
The anaesthetic monitoring equipment was utilised in another mission in the Kunming region of China. This mission was conducted by the Ophthalmology team, consisting of 4 surgeons, nurses, allied medical personnel, and a number of medical students. The local communities were screened for eye problems and cataracts. Cataract extraction and intra-ocular lens placement were performed on more than 50 patients.
In a combined mission with the local surgeons in Biliran, the Philippines, the surgical team (comprised of 11 doctors, medical officers and nurses) from the Department of Surgery, NUS, performed surgical procedures on 178 patients with superficial swellings, cleft lips, thyroid lesions, hernias, and abdominal lesions. The local surgeons made efforts to involve the local communities in this mission, and local cooperation in organising the outpatient clinics and screening procedures generated goodwill between our team and the local communities.
In the second mission, 350 patients were treated in Poipet, Cambodia in a primary health care campaign. Fifty of these patients were identified as having a problem that was treatable by surgery and were operated on. All recovered well after surgery. A total of 36 doctors, nurses and medical students were deployed for this mission.
In this first mission, a total of 25 doctors, nurses and medical students examined approximately 100 patients in Yangon. Operations were performed on 18 patients with complex disorders (including oral cancers, severe facial trauma, and congenital anomalies such as rare facial clefts). These patients would otherwise not have been treated. During follow-up sessions with the local doctors approximately a week and a month after surgery, the patients had progressed well, as evidenced by clinical photographs.