A mission to save lives

19 January 2016, 12:00AM

The first of the O.R.C.H.I.D Vascular team visits to Samoa for 2016 took place last week. 

O.R.C.H.I.D’s strong relationship with N.K.F.S to provide Arterio-venous Fistula (A.V.F vascular) surgery for dialysis clients is going from strength to strength, now in its 5th year.

Operating Rooms Call for Help In Development (O.R.C.H.I.D) has been providing a much needed service to the people of Samoa since 2011. 

Led by Samoan Nurse Salailua Cotter (Nee Naseri), now based in Australia, the O.R.C.H.I.D team have been able, in the last couple years, to increase their visits to Samoa to provide vascular surgery from one to three times a year.

Friends and colleagues of Salailua in Australia volunteer their time and pay their own way and accommodation, as well as bring all their own equipment right down to gloves and gauzes and provide operative procedures that are not available here in Samoa and yet are life saving for many of our people with End Stage Renal Failure. 

In this group are consultant surgeons and theatre nurses. This relationship developed through an initiative by the Samoa Medical Association and the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa and has been supported by our National Health Service and Ministry of Health.

O.R.C.H.I.D also bring an ear, nose and throat team and a laparoscopy team.  

This has been Dr. Peter Hansen (Vascular Surgeon) and Dr. Wayne Edward’s (Anaesthetist) third visit and Dr. Juanita Mueller’s (Vascular surgeon) second visit. 

All commented that they enjoy coming to Samoa and working with the Samoan medical staff as well as treating the Samoan people and learning more about the Samoan culture. 

This year the N.U.S Faculty of Medicine had students involved in their team who were able to receive some training and be introduced to a specialty not available in Samoa yet.  The O.R.C.H.I.D vascular surgeons are keen to teach a fellow surgeon here the intricacies of A.V.F surgery and are building toward this goal with the N.H.S surgical team as their surgical trainees, currently away training, return over the next few years. 

“This is an ongoing and lasting relationship,” said Sal Cotter, as she expressed her team’s commitment to the Samoan people.

There are two more O.R.C.H.I.D Vascular team visits scheduled for later this year. 

The National Kidney Foundation of Samoa would like to express their sincere gratitude to the whole team for their continued visits and support and look forward to their next visits later this year.

19 January 2016, 12:00AM

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