The Ghana Endoscopy Project in collaboration with the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC) has held an advanced endoscopy training for medical practitioners.
An endoscopy procedure is the use of a long thin camera connected tube to look inside the body through a natural opening such as the mouth, nose, ear, vagina, and anus for medical examination of the stomach.
It helps in the diagnosis of ulcers, cancers, and other gastrointestinal illnesses.
The three-day training is to ensure medical practitioners have the requisite skill to provide safe and quality endoscopy services to the public.
Mr Alexander Ntiri, a Nurse Endoscopist, University Hospitals of Leicester, NHS Trust, UK, and the International Coordinator for the Ghana Endoscopy Project, in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) said participants selected across the country would undergo intensive hands-on training to help improve endoscopy procedure in Ghana.
He said the voluntary training would not only be limited to Gastrointestinal (Gl) endoscopy but also minimally invasive procedures in general surgery and gynecology.
Mr Ntiri said endoscopy equipment was expensive and called on the Government to make the necessary tools available to make access to the service easy and affordable.
Dr Richard Robinson, Consultant Gastroenterologist, University Hospitals of Leicester, NHS Trust, UK, and Lead Consultant for the Ghana Endoscopy Project, said endoscopy was an important procedure that helped to identify ulcers, bleeding, celiac disease, blockages, inflammation, and tumors.
“It can help find the cause of unexplained symptoms, such as heartburn, abdominal pain, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and pain,” he stated.
He said the training was important as the procedure was a safe and effective tool in the diagnosis and therapy of various gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
Dr Kwame Anim-Boamah, the Director of Medical Affairs UGMC, commended the Ghana Endoscopy Project for the initiative adding that it would enhance service delivery in the country.
Mr Joel M. Kpodo, Deputy Endoscopy Charge Nurse, University Hospitals Of Leicester, NHS Trust, UK, and the Local Coordinator for Ghana Endoscopy Project, said “this is the fifth time the team has visited Ghana and has made numerous donations worth over £25,000 to several public hospitals all over the country”.
He said endoscopy was an easy procedure with less pain but required the teamwork of highly qualified doctors and nurses, hence the need for proper and specialised training to prevent infections.
Mr Kpodo urged the public to visit a certified endoscopy unit to report chronic cough, vomiting blood, difficulty swallowing, fever and chills, rectal bleeding, severe throat pain, chest pain, and abdominal pain for proper diagnosis and treatment.
A total of 25 procedures were performed, including diagnostic esophagogastroduodenoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy.
The team also performed some therapeutic procedures such as polypectomy, haemorrhoidal band ligation, and Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy feeding tube placement.
The Ghana Endoscopy Project, is a group of devoted Consultant Gastroenterologists, Colorectal Surgeons, and Specialist Nurses from the University Hospitals of Leicester, NHS Trust, UK, offering voluntary education and training in Endoscopy Services to Doctors and Nurses in Ghana, West Africa.
The project since 2013 has supported the development of endoscopy services in Ghana by inviting Ghanaian healthcare providers to the United Kingdom for various pieces of training and also reaching out to hospitals in Ghana.
The project has since supported facilities, including the 37 Military Hospitals, Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua, and the Brong Ahafo Regional Hospital through quality skills and knowledge application in basic and advanced endoscopy service delivery free of charge.