World Pediatric Project (WPP) has resumed its mission to ensure that children in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean have access to advanced paediatric care. WPP’s representative to Barbados, Patricia Deane stated that “WPP is excited to be restarting our clinics in Barbados,” after a lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organisation to temporarily cease operations. However, only last weekend, the WPP Eastern Caribbean initiative recommenced with a general orthopaedic and upper extremity diagnostic clinic for approximately 85 children at the Lewis Drug Mart generously provided free of cost by pharmacist and owner, David Lewis.
Delighted by the restart of the WPP Eastern Caribbean initiative, Director of Medical Services at the QEH, Dr. Clyde Cave shared that in addition to the provision of the highest level of care, the Department of Paediatrics at the QEH is working towards becoming a centre of excellence. This has lead the department to forge relationships with the Shaw Centre for Paediatric Excellence and the World Paediatric Project to further explore the possibility of becoming the regional hub for paediatric patients from neighbouring Caribbean islands, as these partnerships develop the skills of the nurses, physicians and the entire team. Expounding on this, Dr. Cave added that these partnerships provide “multiple benefits for us, in addition to taking care of our children, it also provides our residents training in orthopaedics to be exposed not only to the visiting consultants, but also have the possibility of being sent overseas to observe different surgeries.”
Dr. Andre Yusuff, one of the resident orthopaedic surgeons from the QEH indicated that the clinic was successful, and the team was looking forward to the upcoming clinics scheduled for later this year including a scoliosis clinic in July. He shared that through the clinic, “close to 20 paediatric patients who will require surgery in the immediate future” had been identified; and added that some of these surgeries would be done in St. Vincent and at the QEH, but the more complex cases would be performed in the USA.
Since 2014, WPP and the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust in conjunction with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, have completed 180 surgeries in Barbados, and provided advanced paediatric healthcare to 490 children.