In continuation of Smile Train effort to ensure that children born with cleft attain their full potential in life, it has in partnership with Safe Surgery Initiative trained 23 surgical instrument technicians in the country.
Smile Train Program Director for West and Central Africa, Mrs Nkeiruka Obi who disclosed this to journalists while speaking at the sideline of the National Cleft Stakeholders Forum for north central region in Abuja explained that the initiative is in line with her organisation’s model of empowering local manpower.
According to Obi, to ensure comprehensive cleft management, Smile Train considered it paramount to ensure that surgical equipment are safe and in proper working condition.
“A total of 23 surgical instrument technicians were trained in Abuja, Enugu and Lagos. Surgical machines were equally refurbished by the executive director of Safe Surgery Initiative.
“Surgical Instrument Technicians play a vital role in health care; enhancing the user experience by ensuring all surgical equipment is safe and in proper working condition. This is why Smile Train found it expedient to partner Safe Surgery Initiative because of their expertise and commitment to safe surgeries.
” The outcome of a good surgery is as good as the skills of the surgeon and the quality of the surgical instrument used. This is why this training is so important to further our commitment to safety and quality as well as support local capacity building,”Mrs Obi stated.
For his part, Keith Miles, the Executive Director of Safe Surgery Initiative, a US based nongovernmental organisation who expressed satisfaction with the attitude of the trainees in the effort to guaranteeing safe surgeries noted that the training was the first of its kind in Africa.
He explained that his organisation has continued to champion the course of providing on-site surgical instrument and biomedical refurbishment, sterilization capacity building and education to medical facilities in low-income and middle-income countries.
“We strengthen local surgical care services to increase access to essential surgery that could prevent 1.5 million deaths a year”, Keith stated.
One of the trainees from National Hospital Abuja, Idris Ubaidu, Biomedical Engineer, who spoke to journalists shared his thoughts.
“The SIRT two weeks training was a game changer on surgical instruments at my facility and I believe it’s same at the other centers were the training took place. This programme has exposed us to solution in dealing with some of the frustrations we encounter with instruments in the operating room.
“The refurbishment and sharpening of the instruments brought an amazing transformation beyond my imagination.
For the very first time in my career, I attend a programme that I saw it’s immediate impact.
“I sincerely appreciate Smile Train and Safe Surgery Initiative for the opportunity and look forward to sharing with others the skills I have acquired. Also I can’t thank our trainer enough for his diligent, patience, commitment and sacrifice in the midst of a pandemic”, Idris noted.
Smile Train, a US based cleft charity organisation has been in Nigeria for more than 10 years, having treated over 25,000 cleft patients using the scalable sustainable approach to cleft care.