Doctor teaching life saving skills in Malawi

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A Bearsden doctor has made several trips to Malawi to teach local clinicians how to carry out emergency life-saving treatment.

Dr Adrian Stanley, a consultant gastroenterologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at Glasgow University, is training Malawi clinicians to carry out life-saving endoscopic treatment using equipment donated by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).

Dr Stanley, who specialises in stopping upper gastrointestinal bleeding, a common cause of death in Malawi, where it is related to Schistosomiasis infection, is now preparing for a third visit to Malawi to continue teaching at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre.

He said: “This is a relatively simple but lifesaving treatment because there is a high mortality rate from bleeding related to this condition.

“However, once the bleeding is stopped and the cause treated, patients have very good outcomes.

“Malawi has a fairly young population with a life expectancy of 49 years, so it’s important that patients who are the breadwinners for their families get well and return to their farms and communities.

“We have also taught the local clinicians to place endoscopic stents in patients with oesophageal cancer, which significantly alleviates their symptoms.”

After two previous visitsto the main cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu, Dr Stanley is now preparing for a third visit to Malawi to continue teaching at Mzuzu Central Hospital, the main hospital in the north of the country.

He continued: “Senior staff and hospital management told me that the donation of endoscopic equipment and the on-site training is greatly appreciated.

“In the future there are plans for further hands-on training of local clinicians and their attendance at other regional endoscopic basic skills and therapy courses.

“The ultimate aim is to train local staff to provide a sustainable endoscopy service and I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in making this a reality.”