Members from the UC Davis Well being Division of Gastroenterology lately participated within the fifth annual Rwandan Endoscopy Week. The occasion is hosted by GI Rising, the Rwandan Society for Endoscopy and Rwanda Public and Personal Well being Amenities. It helps ship specialist consultations, endoscopic procedures and coaching, anesthesia and endoscopy nurse coaching, and biomedical engineering assist to areas of want in Rwanda.

Three men stand arm in arm
Bao Sean Nguyen, Alex Zhornitskiy and Michael Lawson at fifth annual Rwandan Endoscopy Week.

Gastrointestinal fellows Bao Sean Nguyen and Alex Zhornitskiy and attending doctor Michael Lawson took half within the occasion. They joined over 50 members of the worldwide Rawandan Endoscopy Week crew of physicians, nurses, and gastrointestinal (GI) employees for one week of academic applications on the College of Kigali Medical Faculty. That was adopted by one week of country-wide endoscopy clinics.

“We realized beneficial classes on the supply of GI care to under-resourced areas, taught medical and endoscopy abilities to the College of Kigali GI fellows and residents, and immersed ourselves within the stunning cities and countryside of Rwanda,” Nguyen stated. “As a fellowship, we sit up for persevering with to broaden the attain of UC Davis international well being by future collaborations with Rawandan Endoscopy Week.”

Throughout their time in Rwanda, the crew helped carry out over 900 procedures and 1,300 consultations throughout 9 websites all through the nation of Rwanda.

“It was really a outstanding expertise to have the ability to not solely present complete medical care that doesn’t presently exist in Rwanda, however extra importantly to be a part of instructing Rwandan gastroenterology fellows,” Zhornitskiy added. “Offering medical classes to native well being professionals will permit for the sort of care to exist lengthy after we depart.”

Lawson, a gastroenterologist with greater than three a long time of expertise volunteering internationally, stated the expertise was extremely rewarding for each Nguyen and Zhornitskiy.

“Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Zhornitskiy have been each nice ambassadors for UC Davis Well being throughout our time in Rwanda,” stated Lawson. “Every of them expertly carried out and proctored procedures at a quantity hardly ever skilled within the U.S. I consider this expertise will make them higher medical doctors and assist them take a extra holistic strategy to affected person care shifting ahead.”

Rebuilding a well being care system

Sean Nguyen standing over a patient demonstrating a procedure to another doctor
Sean Nguyen standing over a affected person demonstrating a process to a different physician

From 1990 to 1994, Rwanda skilled a crippling civil warfare that led to genocide. Throughout a 100-day interval, members of the Hutu ethnic majority murdered as many as 800,000 individuals, largely of the Tutsi minority.

In the present day, Rwanda is among the world’s poorest nations and is working to enhance the standard and outcomes of their well being care system.

GI Rising, a charitable group led by gastroenterologist Steve Bensen from Dartmouth, is working to cut back the burden of gastrointestinal and liver illness in Rwanda by native sustainable initiatives. Their objective is to supply direct affected person care, practice suppliers in therapeutic endoscopic abilities, and advance gastroenterology as a subspecialty.

“It’s rewarding to work with teams like GI Rising, and journeys like this are essential due to the historical past of turmoil and genocide in Rwanda,” Lawson defined. “The individuals of Rwanda are working exhausting to rebuild their nation from the bottom up and our efforts are a part of the work to reconstruct their well being care system.”

Dedicated to bettering the well-being of all

UC Davis Well being makes use of an interdisciplinary strategy, often called One Well being on points surrounding international well being. This imaginative and prescient of One Well being acknowledges the interconnectedness of individuals, animals, and the surroundings and goals to determine and handle the elemental causes of poor well being to enhance the well-being of all.

Two doctors wearing scrubs and masks looking at a monitor
Bao Sean Nguyen demonstrates process to native Rwandan doctor.

“We perceive {that a} affected person’s well being is influenced by many components together with their surroundings, entry to well being care, socioeconomic standing, and different complicated social determinants of well being,” stated Nathan Kuppermann, affiliate dean for international well being on the UC Davis Faculty of Drugs. “We’re dedicated to prime quality take care of all sufferers, particularly probably the most weak in our communities and overseas. This dedication raises the bar to take care of our sufferers all through our well being system.”


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