Dr Suran Ramphal, a consultant and head of the Gynaecological Endoscopy Unit and the Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Unit at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital and the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, played a pivotal role in securing sponsorship of R4 million from Karl Storz Endoscopy towards the development of an endoscopic laboratory in UKZN’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Minimal access surgery has come to the fore in recent years and is a superior alternative to open surgery for many gynaecological procedures. One of the major challenges is the learning curve to master this surgical intervention as doctors need laboratory training to learn didactic techniques and suturing skills before operating on patients.
Obtaining equipment and instrumentation for such training was a challenge that has been overcome by the sponsorship. The unit will train registrars and consultants in gynaecological endoscopy and prepare them for challenges in the operating theatre. It is able to train eight registrars at a time, and senior members of the Department will assist in their training and accreditation. The Unit is already functional, and has attracted specialists from Africa for a period of two weeks at a time for training in gynaecological endoscopy. Training will resume with the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramphal received extensive training in the field of gynaecological endoscopy at the Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium, Warrel Unit in Manchester and Tagesklinieke Attonaer Strabe in Hamburg. He was recently appointed to the advisory board of the International Urogynaecological Association as the Africa representative and is a member of the International Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and the American Association of Gynaecological Endoscopy. He has researched and published extensively in the area of gynaecological endoscopy. Ramphal is an international trainer for Karl Storz Endoscopy and has conducted workshops and training sessions in Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and India. His recent interest is in laparoscopic management of urogenital fistulae and he was the keynote speaker on this topic at the India Association of Gynaecological Endoscopy in June 2020.
Head and Dean of the School of Clinical Medicine, Professor Ncoza Dlova thanked Ramphal for his ‘amazing contribution’ and urged him to continue with his great work.
Words: Lihle Sosibo