In early December BAPS ran the first neonatal operative skills workshop in Manila in association with the ASEAN Society of Paediatric Surgeons (ASPS). ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) comprises 10 nations of widely differing populations and wealth. 30 trainees from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand attended the one-day course which was hosted at the newly constructed Advanced Surgical Centre in Manila and kindly supported by Johnson & Johnson.
Tony Lander ran the course supported by Sarah Almond, Paul Losty, Mark Woodward, David Drake, and Simon Kenny together with Beda Espineda and Willie Hao the local coordinators. We were able to train local faculty to allow them to run similar courses in future and there was clear appetite for BAPS to support such ventures in future.
Animal models of neonatal anastomosis, duodenal atresia and oesophageal atresia were used and the overall feedback of the course was 4.65/5 (excellent). The delegates also attended the joint meeting of the Philippine College of Surgeons and ASPS which had an oncology theme. The challenges in this region are stark – in the Philippines alone annual health care expenditure is £85 / person / year and the population of 107 million is dispersed across 7000 islands. There are significant delays in recognising surgical pathology and children present late and often fail to complete treatment.
There were two Fellowship evenings in which Mr Lander competed with Filipino celebrity singers / dancers both at Karaoke and enlightened the Fellows of the PCS on the origins of their college logo.
Many thanks for the trustees of the Hugh Greenwood Children’s Research Fund for their financial support and to Professor Espineda for his excellent organization and hospitality. Next years ASPS meeting will be held in Bangkok in July 2018.