Surgical and Training Visit to Kosova and Albania

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Surgical and Training Visit to Kosova and Albania
In early December our chairman Mr.Jack McCann visited the Maxillo-Facial Surgery Unit of Pristina University Hospital, Kosova. This unit is now under the direction of Professor Sami Salihiu since the retirement of Professor Osman Sejfiya who also met Jack a couple of times on this trip. Jack also visited the Plastic Surgery Department under Professor Hysni. There together with the local team he operated on some patients; two patients had large facial cancers and one child had a large fibroma on his nose. Jack also saw 2 patients with congenital absence of an ear; these are planned for reconstruction in 2015.
fotoThe Plastic Surgery Department has plans for a new unit; the main challenge is that the cost is close to €2 million. The total health budget for Kosova is €86 million euro for a population of 2 million people. This compares to over €12 billion euro for a population of 4 million in Ireland. In other words the health budget per capita is €3,000 in Ireland and just €43 in Kosova.
Jack travelled from Pristina to Tirana with Doctor Fellanza Gjinolli of the Maxillo-Facial Department and her husband Talat, a neurosurgeon. Their route went by way of Macedonia; this was Jack’s first visit to another very beautiful country.
The main occasion of Mr McCann visit to Albania was the International Maxillo-Facial Surgery Conference in Tirana organised by Professor Ramazan Isufi. Jack presented 2 papers at the conference; “Collaboration of Irish Friends of Albania with Mother Teresa University Hospital over the past 10 years” and “Maxillary Distraction – a case presentation”. The conference was a major international training event with 3 speakers from Germany, 2 from Italy, some from Kosovo and Macedonia as well as many local speakers from Tirana.
Professor Mentor Petrela of the Neurosurgery Department welcomed Jack back and the surgeons made plans for the next Microsurgery Workshop in April 2015. Irish Friends of Albania presented the training with some more micro instruments which are needed for training. A meeting was held with the new Dean of Medicine of Tirana University to discuss the strengthening of Microsurgery Training on the Surgery Curriculum.
Lina Sina, our part-time administrator in Albania, again was of immense help as translator and organiser. So it is time now to prepare for the April 2015 trip!

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