Lecture Series 1: -

The RAB team and local staff

The Lecture hall

Author:

Dr Suresh de Silva

Attendees:

  • Dr Suresh de Silva (Sydney, New South Wales)
  • Dr Patrick Luckey (Sydney, New South Wales)
  • Dr John Pereira (Sydney, New South Wales)

RAB headed to the Solomon Islands (“Solomons”) in late August to conduct the first lecture series in this country, after an expression of interest from the solo Radiologist.

The Solomons is a nation consisting of nearly 1,000 islands, covering a landmass of 28,400 square kilometres. Being close to the equator the Solomons is blessed with warm weather all year around. The capital city, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal, which became famous during the Second World War for the `Battle of Guadalcanal` where the allies fought off the Japanese expansion in the Pacific rim.

The population of the Solomons is over 600,000, scattered over the many islands. For the entire population there is only one Radiologist, Dr Aaron Oritaimae, who does an exceptional job with limited resources and effectively no back up. The main Hospital, which is located in Honiara, The National Referral Hospital, has general x-ray and ultrasound services and they have recently installed a PACS.

A CT scanner is to be installed within the next twelve months, which will be invaluable modality in their day-to-day practice of medicine. Most of the non-Radiology doctors have basic training in image interpretation; however, the bulk of the work falls on the shoulders of Dr Oritaimae. With this in mind, the RAB team embarked on the three-day lecture series, to provide some relevant education and training as well as to set the foundation for ongoing support in the future.

Our lecture series format consisted of a series of practical tutorials conducted in groups of 10-12, as well as delivering three lectures covering a range of relevant topics. The intention was to provide the attendees with teaching in the modalities that their department/Hospital currently has, but also provide an introduction to the basic concepts of CT interpretation which given the CT installation in the near future. We believe the lecture series was well received by the 30-40 doctors / specialists who attended and hopefully we added to their radiological knowledge base.

What struck us was the overwhelming enthusiasm for the sessions and the hunger for learning. Everyone was genuinely appreciative of our efforts and even more genuine in their keenness to learn. The Solomons hospitality was second to none and for this we must extend our gratitude and appreciation to Alex who organised the logistical arrangements and left “no stone unturned”.

From an RAB perspective we learnt a tremendous amount from our visit and enjoyed the exposure to a new culture, the opportunity to learn more about the Solomons way of practicing medicine and certainly the experience of visiting such a beautiful and exotic place. Unfortunately due to our time constraints we did not have the opportunity to explore the island/s, which is hopefully something we can do on our next visit.

Our future plans for the Solomons include:

  • Continue with additional Lecture Series, providing ongoing support through education and training;
  • Remote peer review and support once the RAB IT infrastructure is in place in late 2013;

From an RAB perspective we learnt a tremendous amount from our visit and enjoyed the exposure to a new culture, the opportunity to learn more about the Solomons way of practicing medicine and certainly the experience of visiting such a beautiful and exotic place. Unfortunately due to our time constraints we did not have the opportunity to explore the island/s, which is hopefully something we can do on our next visit.

Radiology Across Borders

Radiology Across Borders trains local doctors in developing nations to use the power of radiology to save lives.

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