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Ambitious bid to cut maternal mortality

Staff Reporter

240 doctors to be trained in endoscopy to facilitate early diagnosis, easy deliveries

CHENNAI: : A fortnight-long endoscopy training programme for gynaecologists will be conducted in the city from Wednesday. A public-private partnership with United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo and Global Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Karl Storz, Germany, it is part of an initiative to improve the health of girls and women in India.

Select hospitals

Initially, 240 doctors from across the country will be trained in six centres in the country. Four centres, two government and two private hospitals, have been chosen for the initiative. Modalities are being worked out to rope in two more hospitals. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research and Education, Chandigarh are the two Government-run hospitals; the private are Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and Joseph's Nursing Home in Chennai.

Chennai is launching the first training programme.

The Women's Health Initiative, a project begun by Sybill Storz, chief executive officer of Karl Storz, a 60-year-old company making endoscope instruments, receives research inputs from the UNU. Karl Storz set up office in India in 1949.

The GTZ, an enterprise for sustainable development, will provide technical support to monitor the training programme. The programme envisages that doctors who undergo the programme returning to the villages/towns and training other doctors. The doctors will be taught to handle the latest endoscope diagnostic tools in a bid to replace conventional surgery, where a woman's abdomen is cut open for surgery. In endoscopy, three holes are made in the abdomen to facilitate surgery. The holes are patched up with adhesive strips.

Ramesh Thakur, senior vice-rector at UNU says "the idea of the training initiative is to reduce the maternal mortality rate by half by the year 2015. The [endoscope] machines are easy to maintain and will be good for Indian conditions."

Early diagnosis

Endoscope tools would help early diagnosis and prevent complicated deliveries.

At the centres, the endoscope machines that come with three monitors will be installed in the operation theatre. One monitor will record the case while the second will guide the doctor in conducting the procedure. The third will be used for teleconferencing to receive inputs from experts.

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