The head of the eleven member team of the Indo-Nepalese Rotary Medical Mission to Sierra Leone Dr Subhasish Nag has called on Sierra Leonean doctors to reach out more to the local people and maybe organise to give them a free day of medical care.
Dr Nag was speaking to Awoko at the end of their two-week mission, which was aimed at “providing medical assistance to needy people.”
The team which included ophthalmologists (eye) surgeons, orthopedic (dental) surgeons general surgeons, gynecologists, and an anesthetist successfully treated close to 1,500 patients and performed around 750 surgical operations at the Connaught Hospital, Choitrams Memorial Hospital and Dr Bell’s or New Life Hospital at Brookfields.
Dr Nag who is himself an eye surgeon said they found a lot of “cataracts and glaucoma seemed to be very common” adding that the caseload is larger than he was expecting.
He revealed that he had to operate on two little children and with a smile of satisfaction spreading across his face said, “If these children can see then I am happy – we would have done something.”
In general surgery he said Hernia (bozin) was very common – around the 140 cases for general surgery about a hundred he said were hernia, with the others being fibroid uterus.
The Indian born doctor said of the people they treated “ these are very poor patients.”
However what “was most gratifying was that the patients were very grateful.”
Commenting on the facilities available in the hospitals, Dr Nag said “The major hospitals have good facilities” but there was “some shortage of quality equipment” and they “had to provide fuel for the generators” since the surgical operations could not be done without electricity supply.
As a result he said, treating “advanced cases will not be possible here.”
His view of the young doctors was that “they lack experience” and he went on to explain that though the doctors appeared well trained “it is experience which makes up for the proficiency.”
Dr Nag also called for more skills transfer, and revealed that they plan to work with Rotary Sierra Leone to see if some young doctors can visit them in India and also try to bring in some equipment.
The Rotary sponsored medical team leader maintained that the doctors “need to reach out to the common person who does not have the ability to pay for the surgeries.”
He urged, “Doctors have to do their bit – like subsidized surgeries or give one day free” for the poor patients.