Nov 14, 2013 News
In a scholarly attempt to simplify the intricacies of wound care, Infectious Diseases Specialist, Dr. Peter Akai, during the past week was able to impart expert knowledge to medical staffers of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
The support of the Canada-based Specialist was solicited by the financial backers of the public hospital’s Burn Care Unit.
The facility was founded more than a decade ago by Harry and Pam Harakh, who together with other Canada-based associates, decided to form the Guyana Burns and Healthcare Charitable Foundation.
Dr. Akai, who was born and raised in New Amsterdam, Berbice, before migrating to Canada in the late 1970s, was able to deliver four lecture sessions to nurses and facilitated a Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme for physicians. The sessions all had a focus on the management of Burns Care.
The Specialist recently disclosed that since it is recognised that the attention span of humans could be rather limited he decided to compress his sessions into a near one-hour long presentation. This saw him dividing the management of burns care presentation into 10 segments which he dubbed the 10 commandments.
The presentation highlighted the crucial aspects of attending to a burn patient.
“In order to make sense of it I broke it down into 10 parts that had nothing to do with diagnosing and investigating…it was just about managing wounds which is a very complicated area…it is a very common area and could cost a lot of money,” said Dr. Akai, of the management of burn wounds.
But although he was tasked with emphasising the importance of Burns care, Dr. Akai has never worked in such a Unit himself. He said that back in Canada he was trained to treat infections and did considerable work with patients who were homeless and those who were drug abusers and were considerably exposed to severe temperatures.
He explained that the living conditions of such individuals, coupled with the exposure, were in fact a recipe for them becoming very ill.
Dr. Akai’s level of training saw him over the past decade directing a wound treatment clinic at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Canada. There he tended to patients with various wounds, including diabetic patients.
Based on his work and the fact that the wounds he attended to were similar to those seen at the GPHC’s Burn Care Unit, moves were made to garner his support.
“The difference with a Burn Care Unit is that it requires a plastic surgeon which is beyond what I do…so I can be involved with the Unit for that half (wound management) and the plastic surgeon (work) is another half,” explained Dr. Akai.
His visit here represents his first trip back to Guyana in over 20 years and according to him he has a desire to have a long-term relationship with the hospital either through a teaching or training capacity or even through part-time practice.
He explained that wounds management could at times be challenging since sometimes it is difficult to get patients to adhere to recommendations from medical personnel.
“Whether it is in Canada or Guyana people like to do their own thing…A diabetic wound requires that you to walk less or even to stop walking; you can imagine that is absolutely difficult, and for some people impossible,” said Dr. Akai.
Another issue that must be addressed in terms of wound care, the Specialist said, is the current unavailability of some treatment products here. He however cautioned that in acquiring these treatment products efforts must be made to ascertain that value for money is being realised.
He said that health facilities that address wound care are urged to embrace the slogan “Don’t tell me about cost but cost effectiveness.”
“If you pay $1 million and you save $10 million then it works as opposed to paying $500,000 for years and not getting results…”
And so in light of some limitations here, Dr. Akai said that he is prepared to spearhead discussions with the hospital administration and the medical personnel as it relates to the worthwhile re-examination of what upgrades could be beneficial and cost effective.
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