26 May 2015

Significant improvements in Vanuatu urology services

10:19 am on 26 May 2015

A urology team from Australia has just completed its latest visit to Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, where it treated over 30 patients during its 10-day stay.

Doctor Richard Grills, a urologist from Geelong, says the team of volunteers has visited seven times since 2009, and has helped the hospital improve its capacity and capabilities.

Dr Grills says the team originally visited only to provide surgical procedures, but has since expanded to help build capacity at Vila Central Hospital.

The study says a third of all deaths in 2010 were from conditions which were treatable with surgery.

Photo: 123RF

He says it has also helped train local surgeons and other staff so they can perform procedures themselves, and has arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be donated to the hospital.

Dr Grills says there is now a significant difference in what is able to be achieved locally.

"When we came in 2009, we came for I think two weeks then, and we just treated patients and then we left and there were no patients treated before we came back the next year. Last year we did two weeks of operating and treated 30 patients, but since then, Dr Leona's [Vanuatu's urologist] treated another 30 patients. So it is continuing in our absence because we now have a local service."