Tag Archives: Sonographer

Visions of Burma – supporting training in Yangon

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Outreach team (from left to right: Franti Grochal from Slovakia, Dr. Philippe Jeanty from USA, Ya Chiao Hu from Taiwan and Federico Badano from Argentina).
Image courtesy of Dr. Philippe Jeanty of TheFetus.Net

On 7 March 2017, Outreach Committee Member and Founder of TheFetus.net Dr. Philippe Jeanty (USA), led a group of trainers in Yangon, Myanmar to train 30 trainees from across the country in basic OB/GYN ultrasound. ISUOG Outreach supported this mission and below, Dr. Jeanty provides his first impressions of Yangon from early this week.

“First day:

This is the first Outreach course we’de done in Yangon, Myanmar. The first day was rest and recovery from very long trips! Federico Badano was the longest distance flyer (29 hours from Argentina), followed by Franti Grochal (26 hours from Slovakia). Ya Chiao Hu from Taiwan and Gwang Jun Kim from South Korea had an easier time but still pretty long trips!
We did some light visiting, taking a local train to site see. Interestingly, we crossed the tracks a few time to get from platform to platform. Very surprising to me!  The train was full of colorful people. They use some ground up stone for makeup and sunscreen. In the train there was a panel with 3 warnings: you can’t smoke or litter, but more surprisingly, you cannot kiss on the train!

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Yangon train
Image courtesy of Dr. Philippe Jeanty of TheFetus.Net

The train was really packed and vendors circulating with all types of food, drinks and trinkets. They even sell betel leaves that people keep in their checks, a little like the coca leaves in the Andes with similar bad effects on teeth! We chatted with some people who were very friendly and quite interested in us. Actually mostly interested in Ya Chiao and we learned later that Korean movies are very popular here and they thought she was a Korean actress!!
We visited a pagoda with an immense Buddha statue made of a single block of marble imported (if I am correct)  from Nepal.
The food is very varied and influenced by Chinese and Indian cuisine.
Today was the first day of the course and we met with our local contact, Dr Yin Yin Soe, who organized the course.
We had 30 students and they come from all over Myanmar! It was incredible that many had come from hospitals with only one obstetrician so it was apparently difficult to get government permission for them to attend the course and have surgeon cover their absence. Many travelled by train the night before. Compared to previous Outreach courses, they are much less intimidated which makes the contact easier.
We had class room in the morning and workshop the afternoon.
It is very very hot! 37 C/99 F, but the students were really eager to learn!

Second day:

Ya Chiao scanning

Yao Chiao scanning with a trainee
Image courtesy of Dr. Philippe Jeanty of TheFetus.net

Since I am so hard at hearing, I got in the habit of asking people to write their questions on paper and drop them on the desk. This is also a great technique for shy students and women who otherwise would not ask questions. Well, we were inundated and the questions reflected a very good level of knowledge. This is an interesting situation with knowledgeable students who just have very little hand-on practice. So I worry that our lectures were too basic.
For Ya Chiao, this was her very first ever presentation in front of a class and even behind her impassible stoic face, she was clearly nervous! Sonographers don’t often teach physicians in Asia but she did a very good job!
Gwang Jun had the second presentation and talked about CNS anatomy and the views. As expected, he had a great presentation and has a unique style of teaching, for instance a way to remember the ventricular system by folding the fingers was a refreshing approach to the usual topic!
Federico and Franti then did their presentation with the ease of someone who has spent years doing them.

Group photo

Trainers with trainees
Image courtesy of Dr. Philippe Jeanty of TheFetus.net

The afternoon we had tons of patients with anomalies, including large cephalocele, missed AB, triplets and so on. Some patients needed TV examination which we rarely do in courses like this and Concordia rapidly got us a TV probe and we did several scans. It helps that women here are accepting and that almost all the students are women.
They know what they need to look for but needed help in coordinating what they see on screen with the movement of the transducer. So I hold their hand and show the movement. And invariably they look at my hand moving theirs instead of looking at the screen! So finally I took a patient chart as a “blind” to force them to just look at the screen!
The machines we have are uneven resolution. The three top end machines are fantastic but the low end one makes you realize what it is to scan in a country that has a hard time affording to machines: we are very spoiled!”

Stay tuned for more stories from Myanmar and next week, as we report from Ghana!

 

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Outreach team (from left to right: Franti Grochal from Slovakia, Dr. Philippe Jeanty from USA, Federico Badano from Argentina, Ya Chiao Hu from Taiwan and Dr. Gwang Jun Kim from South Korea)
Image courtesy of Dr. Philippe Jeanty of TheFetus.net

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SANA’s Spring Reflections from the Lebanese Outreach

Reem Abu-Rustum, MD FACOG is the founder and President of SANA Medical NGO (an ISUOG partner), dedicated to outreach obstetrical care in Lebanon. She is also ISUOG’s Ambassador to Lebanon and the Middle East, being actively involved in the integration of ultrasound in medical education. SANA celebrated 4 years of success this past May and in this post, Reem graciously shares her insight on not just outreach in the under deserved communities in Lebanon, but also accommodating new disadvantaged communities coming in from neighboring Syria as well.


Spring, earth’s time of rebirth and regeneration.

It brings with it endless hope and promise. This spring, it marked a most special time for SANA Medical NGO during which it celebrated its 4th birthday on 19 May 2015 and renewed its commitment to its mission.

It has been an amazing four years during which SANA had to evolve and adapt to the changing needs within the Lebanese Outreach. So many missions, lessons and stories have had a lifelong impact and have been forever etched within SANA’s memory; the endless images of stoic expectant mothers wearing appreciative smiles of reassurance and the bright faces of SANA’s trainees empowered by their new skill and knowledge. There lies the driving force behind SANA, infusing it with such a sense of purpose.

On its 4th birthday, SANA reflects back on its teachers, trainees, patients and supporters who have all been an endless well of inspiration.

Without its teachers, who served as the ultimate role model, SANA would not have come into existence. The incredible work that was being accomplished all over the globe by Alfred and Sharon Abuhamad, Titia Cohen-Overbeek, Jean-Claude Fauron, Lisbet Hansen, Philippe Jeanty, Anthony Johnson, Dario Paladini, Ann Tabor and the ISUOG Outreach volunteers is what led to the birth of SANA. It was founded in loving memory of Dr. Sana Elias with the goal of carrying out ISUOG Outreach’s work in ‘our own Lebanese backyard’. To its teachers, SANA is forever grateful.

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Over the past 4 years, SANA has been blessed in being able to partake in the sonographic education of over 30 deeply committed and motivated trainees of various ages and qualifications. The training is ongoing at different phases to the diverse groups. Regardless of their background, whether or not they could read or write, they held the probe with contagious excitement and dedication soon after putting their newly acquired sonogaphic skills to tremendous use. Nothing is as gratifying as watching SANA’s trainees positively impact the medical care being provided to the underserved expectant mothers in the Lebanese Outreach, which now comprises of both native Lebanese mothers and Syrian refugees. SANA is proud of its first group of nine midwives and nurses who have completed the basic training and received ISUOG certificates. They are now undergoing continuous advanced training. In addition, one of SANA’s star trainees, Midwife Loulou, has lectured to the newest group of 16 midwifery students igniting their interest and capturing their attention. Today, SANA is as committed as ever to making available proper sonographic training to all interested probe-handlers.
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As SANA reflects back, it becomes quite apparent that perhaps the most powerful images are those of its patients. SANA was established with a primary goal of providing high standard quality care to underserved Lebanese mothers. Little was it known back in 2011 that over one third of SANA’s patients would be Syrian refugees. SANA had to adapt to mounting needs where, in addition to the pre-existing suboptimal conditions in the Lebanese Outreach, it was faced with the additional challenges of a growing number of patients who had witnessed the atrocities of war in all its forms, due largely to the current conflict in Syria. But these patients were combatting death by bringing in life and as such, SANA has managed to take care of several patients now in their second and third pregnancies during their displacement in Lebanon. These patients tended to be either much younger or grand multiparas with higher rates of prior home births and prior cesarean births when compared to their Lebanese counterparts. SANA is indebted to its able partners who have facilitated its mission in delivering quality prenatal care to over 1000 patients. Most importantly now, it is through the actions of SANA’s trainees, who have been most gracious in providing quality prenatal care to underserved Lebanese and Syrian refugees, that SANA’s existence is validated.

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And how could SANA have ever succeeded in any of its activities had it not been for its volunteers? They have been giving consistently and selflessly, serving as a key to SANA’s sustenance.

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As SANA’s reflections come to a close, it looks forward to a most promising future fueled by unwavering passion and acquired wisdom, aided by its donors and supporters. Today, SANA renews its vows to carrying on with its mission thanking each and every one who has accompanied it on this most unforgettable journey in the glorious Lebanese Outreach.

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