A seminar on Laparoscopic Gynaecology Surgery, which is part of the Medical Council's postgraduate continuous professional development, was held on, 18 November 2019, at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène. The Australian High Commissioner, Ms Jenny Dee, was present.
The seminar was facilitated by the Australian NGO, Australian Doctors for Africa, the Medical Council of Mauritius, and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Some 25 junior doctors from the public and private sector participated. Several talks and presentations were on the agenda, namely a talk on 'Laparoscopic Gynaecology Surgery' by Dr Lanziz Homar who is an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Fertility specialist and member of the Australian Doctors for Africa; and a talk by Dr Tanooja Hemoo, Senior Specialist/Radiotherapy, and Dr Leelodharry, Consultant-in-Charge Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Ministry of Health and Wellness on 'Gynaecological oncology in Mauritius'.
In her address, Ms Dee underlined that Australia and Mauritius have a longstanding collaboration in the health sector. This includes, she pointed out, important research on diabetes between the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Prof Paul Zimmet, Professor of Diabetes at Monash University and former Director Emeritus of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, and medical visits by Australian NGOs, some headed by the Mauritian diaspora living in Australia.
Recent visits, she recalled, included Australian NGO Oziles to provide wheelchairs to children with disabilities in Mauritius and Rodrigues and the Children of Mauritius Medical and Surgical Support Association from Western Australia who have partnered with the Nursing Council of Mauritius to run Stoma and Wound Care Nurse Education Programmes for health professionals from Mauritius and Rodrigues. In July 2019 Polytechnics Mauritius launched a new Nursing Degree top-up programme in partnership with Australia's La Trobe University, she added.
Speaking about the importance of health, the High Commissioner indicated that health is among the six investment priorities of the Australian Government's aid policy namely promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, and enhancing stability. She said that health investments are guided by the Health for Development Strategy 2015-2020 which prioritises strengthening country-level health systems and services to be responsive to health needs, and strengthening regional preparedness and capacity to respond to emerging disease threats.
Furthermore, Ms Dee stated that in October 2017, Australia announced a $300 million commitment (2018-2022) to support health security strengthening in the Indo-Pacific region under the Health Security Initiative. Australia's aid investments, she added, are aligned with the global agenda towards Universal Health Coverage, with focus on a strong, efficient, well-run health system; a system for financing health services; access to essential medicines and technologies; and a sufficient capacity of well-trained, motivated health workers.
About Australian Doctors for Africa
The Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA) was established in 2005 as a not-for-profit community-based organisation with its headquarters located in Perth, Western Australia. ADFA plays a critical role in providing medical assistance and training in Madagascar, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Comoros through its humanitarian and volunteer medical operations. ADFA works in the following areas: medical service provision, skills transfer and training, hospital infrastructure development, and advanced development.
This was ADFA's first visit to Mauritius and collaboration with Mauritian partners.