Surgical exchange brings Bangladeshi doctors to TAMC

| August 4, 2011 | 0 Comments
Lt. Col. Tauhidul Islam (second from right), and Col. Enamul Kabir (right) look on as Navy Cmdr. David Healy (sitting) demonstrates an ear examination on a fellow TAMC staff member, as part of the Bilateral Surgical Exchange Program, July 26. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. Tauhidul Islam (second from right), and Col. Enamul Kabir (right) look on as Navy Cmdr. David Healy (sitting) demonstrates an ear examination on a fellow TAMC staff member, as part of the Bilateral Surgical Exchange Program, July 26. (Courtesy Photo)

Jan Clark
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs

International doctors share knowledge to aid “Sight, Sound and Smiles” missions

HONOLULU — As part of a Bilateral Surgical Exchange Program, doctors from the Bangladesh army visited Tripler Army Medical Center, here, July 26-29, to share and receive knowledge with doctors, here.

Col. Enamul Kabir and Lt. Col. Tauhidul Islam, both assigned to the Combined Military Hospital Bogra, a Bangladeshi army hospital, spoke of their good fortune at being able to spend additional time with Navy Cmdr. David Healy, Otorhinolaryngology (head, neck, ear, nose and throat) Department, TAMC.

“Last year, Healy came to Bangladesh with his team as part of the ‘Sight, Sound and Smiles’ mission, and (Islam and I) were able to work with him,” said Kabir, a plastic surgeon at the Combined Military Hospital. “He had a very successful program; we did many operations together. Then, he invited us here as part of the return program, for a further exchange of knowledge and ideas.”

The Sight, Sound and Smiles mission is a U.S. Pacific Command-funded mission, through the Asian-Pacific Regional Initiative, to strengthen relationships between the U.S. military and various nations in the region. Through this program, TAMC sends specialized surgical teams to Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia and Cambodia.

“Healy, with his team, has come to Bangladesh and performed many surgeries,” said Islam, also an otorhinolaryngology surgeon. “We have been able to exchange our knowledge in the surgical handicrafts and foster our professional knowledge.

“We were fortunate to come here to foster that proficiency, and (this) knowledge enables us to return home and impart what we have shared with our fellow countrymen,” Islam said.

Because health care access is limited or too expensive in many parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, impoverished families are unable to obtain the care they need. As a result, there is a large demand for many types of specialized services.

The purpose of Sight, Sound and Smiles missions is to answer demands in local civilian populations, in conjunction with host national medical establishments, through sight- and hearing-restorative surgeries: cleft, lip and palate repairs, and other ear, nose and throat plastic surgeries.

“The surgical exchange is an opportunity that we have taken to bring some of the surgeons that we have worked with (and) conducted surgeries with in the past to TAMC,” Healy said. “Here, we can continue to learn from each other and gain new surgical experiences, while continuing to foster the bonds that have made these missions that we do such a rich experience for everybody involved.”

 

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