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12/14/2011

Valley Doctors Teach Procedures in Nepal

MESA, Ariz. - A group of doctors and nurses from Banner Desert in Mesa returned home on Sunday from a week-long trip to Nepal.

They spent five days teaching doctors there how to perform minimally-invasive gynecological procedures.

The 22 volunteers started these missions five years ago.

Each year, they pick a different country where doctors need their help learning how to do procedures that are very basic here in the U.S.

Jamal Mourad and Snehal Bhoola are celebrating the success of their mission to Khatmandu, Nepal.

“Immediately, we got to work. We were doing nine surgical procedures for every day we were there. So we did an amazing 50 procedures in five days,” Mourad said.

“So I thought we would go there, and we wouldn’t actually contribute much. But when we went there, I realized we’re contributing a whole lot, because they don’t do these at all. And they now have a new tool to use to offer patients,” Bhoola said.

The staff focused on procedures that are commonly used in America to determine the causes of various gynecologic problems.

“Over here we have patients with infertility or excessive bleeding or pelvic cysts, and over there, they get evaluated with an open surgery or not evaluated at all,” Bhoola said.

The crew included anesthesiologists, surgeons and assistants. They also brought everything from camera light to sterilizers.

“Our sterile techniques, our regulations are much more strict than what they have there,” Mourad said.

The staff got the true Nepali experience -- staying in a monastery and eating meals prepared by the monks.

But their time at the hospital was what they'll remember most.

“You come back thinking how privileged we are and how amazing our setup is compared to what people have to deal with outside of this setting,” Mourad said. 

The doctors in Nepal were able to complete the procedures on their own when the trip ended.

The Banner Desert team has already planned a live video conference with the Nepali doctors so they can continue to expand their medical capabilities.

Online: www.bannerhealth.com