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Child care

Child care


Despite the heavy showers of rain that fell on the evening of Saturday November 12, an eight-member team from the World Pediatric Project (WPP){{more}} arrived at the ET Joshua airport on board Liat Flight # 737, for the first ever Scoliosis mission to take place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The team, from Richmond Virginia, includes Dr. Victoria Kuester – Pediatric Orthopedist, Dr. Robert Tuten – Pediatric Orthopedist, Dr. Mike Estes – Pediatric Anesthesiologist, Mary Deborah Walton – Operating Room Nurse, Elizabeth Joyner – Ward Nurse, Erin Rose – Neuro/spine monitoring technician, Mac Janney – Spinal Implant Representative and Jenna Garber – WPP team leader.

On hand to greet the delegation were Minister of Health Cecil Mc Kie, Chief Medical Officer Dr. St. Clair Thomas and Jacqueline Browne-King, Eastern Caribbean Regional representative for the World Pediatric Project.

Following the meet and greet, a short press briefing held at the VIP Lounge at the ET Joshua airport. During the press briefing, it was disclosed that from November 12 to 19, the pediatric team will be based at the Milton Cato Memorial hospital, where medical assistance would be provided to Vincentian children and those from five other Caribbean Islands.

These other islands include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis.

According to Jenna Garber, Program Assistant for the World Pediatric Project, this is the team’s seventh mission this year to SVG, but this is the first time that the team will focus mainly on Scoliosis.

She further explained that their goal this week is to complete six to eight of these procedures.

“This type of surgery and the necessary preservative care, if completed in the United States, will cost approximately US$100,000 per patient. Therefore we are excited about the opportunity to provide this care closer to home, at no cost to the patients and families,” Garber said.

In his welcoming remarks to the pediatric team, Minister of Health Cecil McKie said “We cannot help but to sing praises to the World Pediatric Project for your work here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines…

“If we have seven teams coming for this year and more teams coming, we would expect that even more children would be impacted upon. Make no mistake about it, we do not want to over emphasize, but we cannot help but express what this means to the children of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the region and the impact in terms of their quality of life,” the Minister added.

Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side, shaped like an “s”, and may also be rotated. To adults it can be very painful. It is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. On an x-ray, viewed from the rear, the spine of an individual with typical scoliosis may look more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line.

The ongoing partnership between SVG and the WPP is in its 8th year. The link was made possible through the assistance of the Rotary Club South of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, following a meeting with members of the WPP in Richmond, Virginia, back in 2003.

The World Pediatric Project was founded in 2001 as the International Hospital for Children, with the mission to link worldwide pediatric, surgical, diagnostic and preventative resources to heal critically ill children in developing countries.