Loving hearts for Samoa

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP: The ORCHID team with Dr. Malama Tafuna’i (middle).

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP: The ORCHID team with Dr. Malama Tafuna’i (middle).

This week has seen the O.R.C.H.I.D Vascular team return to Samoa on one of several annual missions.  

The Operating Rooms Call 4 Help in Development (O.R.C.H.I.D), a charitable Foundation founded by Salailua Naseri-Cotter in 2010 has been coming to Samoa for over five years now providing Vascular access surgery for the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa’s dialysis clients.

Their first visit for the year was in January with vascular surgeons, Dr. Peter Hansen and Dr. Juanita Muller. 

This month brings Samoa’s friend, Dr. John Bingley who has been coming twice a year since O.R.C.H.I.D’s inception providing a free service to the people of Samoa. He brings with him two new comers to Samoa, vascular Surgeon Dr. Steven Gett and anaesthetist Dr. Marcus Soo.

They have been operating since Monday, our mothers day Public Holiday. 

They requested their team be allowed to work as they are aware their time on island is short and they try and do as much as possible. 

Vascular access surgery is not available in Samoa and is critical for Samoa’s Dialysis clients without which many would not be given an extended opportunity in life. 

O.R.C.H.I.D is a voluntary team from Brisbane Australia who pay their own fare and accommodation and bring all their own equipment and provide this much needed service for Samoa at no cost. 

The team this visit is eight strong members as not only do they bring vascular surgeons and an anaesthetist, Salailua has enticed her nursing work colleagues whom are specialist theatre and recovery nurses, a few of whom have not missed a year with Dr. Bingley to bring this much needed service to Samoa. 

The team is a perfect example of harmony as the team of doctors and nurses work together to provide this great service. 

O.R.C.H.I.D have also been working with the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Samoa, integrating students into their team and teaching them undergraduate medical knowledge and the value of team work. 

The team are impressed with F.O.M medical students and see potential in the future doctors of Samoa. It is hoped someone will engage in postgraduate training to learn this skill in their future years and Samoa will have one of its own surgical team trained in this type of surgery.

O.R.C.H.I.D’s visit is supported by the National Health Service of Samoa and the Ministry of Revenue who assist the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa in facilitating the visit. The team is also very grateful to the N.H.S Surgical team and theatre nurses who support them while here.

Once again, the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa wish to thank O.R.C.H.I.D for their continued commitment to the people of Samoa and we look forward to their next visit.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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