25 WORLD GASTROENTEROLOGY NEWS JULY 2014 Editorial | Expert Point of View | WDHD News | WGO & WGOF News | WGO Global Guidelines | Calendar of Events Getting Underway: Gastroenterology in The Gambia Des Leddin, MD Professor of Gastroenterology Victoria General Hospital Halifax, NS, Canada In January 2014 a meeting was held in The Gambia with a focus on the growing Gastroenterology expertise and resources in West Africa. The meeting was a collaboration between the WGO, the Government of The Gambia, the Medical Research Coun-cil of the UK, Horizons Trust UK, and KARL STORZ. The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa. It lies on the north and south banks of the Gambia River as it runs to the Atlantic. It is embedded in Senegal, is English speaking, and tropical. It has a nominal per capita income of about $500 per annum and a population of nearly two million of whom about one-third try to get by on not much more than a dollar a day. We wanted to get a sense of local resources, and burden of disease, and to determine whether it will be possible to locate a WGO Training Center in this part of West Africa. We also wished to bring together a global team who may work with our colleagues in The Gambia to carry the project forward, to meet regional GI health care providers, to provide some patient care, and deliver an educa-tional event. Most of all we wished to demonstrate that endoscopy and GI training could be carried out in the region. The Gambia is fortunate in having very capable physicians, and a supportive government, but facilities are sparse and endoscopy services very limited. Proof that The Gambia could host a high caliber medical meeting would be an important milestone on the road to growing the local resource. The Minister of Health, the Honor-able Omar Sey, and the Director of the MRC in The Gambia, Dr. Umberto D’Alessandro, opened the meeting. The target audience was physicians and nurses with an interest, or expertise in, GI from the west of Africa. This area includes Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Ghana and The Gambia. The local physicians identified patients whose history and physical findings were presented. The audience was then asked to make a clinical diagnosis. Endoscopy was performed with live video feed to the classroom. The find-ings were discussed and teaching was supplemented by prepared 10-minute talks, which addressed the findings. It proved an excellent format with instant feedback on clinical lessons. The meeting was chaired by Des-mond Leddin (Canada). Faculty in-cluded Sharmila Arandasapthy (USA), John Igoe, MD, FRCPC PGY-5 Gastroenterology Chief Resident Dalhousie University Halifax, NS, Canada A fishing boat being launched in Fajara, The Gambia.
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