A MEDICAL team from Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States is currently in Honiara providing medical support to newly graduated doctors from Cuba at the same time conduct health services.
In response to the invitation extended by Ambassador Victor Te-Sun Yu – The Embassy of the ROC (Taiwan), the Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department (JHHPED) collaborated with Taiwan Health Center (THC) and the National Referral Hospital (NRH) to establish a month long foreign medical aid mission in Solomon Islands with an added focus on pediatric clinical education for the new interns trained in Cuba.
The clinical team consisted of medical volunteers from JHHPED, including a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Attending and Fellow (Dr Karen Schneider and Dr Daniel Yu), Pediatric Residents (Drs Jason Gillon, Madeline Cayton, Kimberly Dickinson) and PED Nurse (Mr. Duane Herbel).
Pediatric Endocrinologist Dr Jean Chen, from Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital also joined forces.
One of the most difficult elements for establishing a functional healthcare system for a developing nation like Solomon Islands is having a sufficient supply of locally based trained health care workers.
In 2007, Solomon Islands established a health aid program with Cuba, which provides consistent education for Solomon Islands medical students every year.
In 2014, the first 22 graduates arrived home facing the new challenge of practicing medicine with a shortage of further structured clinical training.
Teaching consisted of high yield didactics in the form of workshops, resuscitation simulations, and lectures with particular emphasis on the acute care of critically ill children as requested by the NRH.
The curriculum content was further adapted according to the needs assessed by pre-education surveys.
The clinical team not only taught much needed basic pediatric resuscitation skills and pediatric acute care for sick children, but also demonstrates a curriculum that can be continued for ongoing skills practice and provider education.
The young and newly minted Solomon Island doctors currently training at NRH are a diverse group from different corners of the nation.
They are smart, dynamic and extremely hard working, and they yearn for further structured clinical training as observed by Johns Hopkins Hospital team members.
These doctors face the challenging task of practicing medicine in an environment with limited resources.
Furthermore, they are still in the process of translating book knowledge into clinical practice – a complicated process that usually takes place through years of comprehensive residency training in the United States.
Establishing an initial process for teaching relevant high yield, life-saving, pediatric topics can in turn potentially play a major role in shaping the health of children in the Solomon Islands.
This project will directly guide future local educational endeavors and potentially promote volunteerism.
Through a foreign medical aid mission lead by Johns Hopkins Hospital medical volunteers, and with the support of the National Referral Hospital, and Taiwan Health Center and Embassy of ROC (Taiwan), this novel project and partnership strives to make a long-term impact on child health in Solomon Islands.
The pediatric team is currently seeing sick children at the NRH along with outreach to rural health centers including Good Samaritan Hospital and Pikinini Clinic.
– Taiwan Embassy