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those who are in need in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

World Pediatric Project Wraps up 2022 with Capacity Building Training & Laparoscopic Surgeries.

December 18, 2022

Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines – World Pediatric Project (WPP) continues to evolve and create long term solutions to pediatric health care needs in St. Vincent and the region. This as a specialist team led by Dr. David Lanning is currently hosting one of its largest trainings for the year, including 5 local and 2 regional surgeons in the areas of general surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, neurosurgery and urology.

This team is a special mission contingent of highly qualified medical personnel from the US and across the Eastern Caribbean, including surgeons from St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and Dominica. It is led by pediatric general surgeon Dr. David Lanning, and supported by fellow pediatric surgeon Dr. Claudio Oiticica and surgical assistant Cindy Sheppard, both facilitators for the training portion.

WPP medical team

Credit: Asberth News Network

Dean of the SVGCCu2019s DTE, Marise Butler, implored awardees to use the funds as they are intended and also used her inaugural address as Dean to thank The Mustique Charitable Foundation for its continued support to the Division of Teacher Education. Over the years the MCF has also contributed financially to students of the SVGCCu2019s Division of Technical & Vocational Education.

The local team is made up of WPP’s partner pediatrician and pediatric surgeon, Dr. Jasmine Ellis-Davy, local anesthesiologists, and recovery room nurses.

Also accompanying the team is CEO of World Pediatric Project, Vafa Akhavan. The dual mission comprises of both laparoscopic surgeries with pre-selected patients, and the aforementioned training component. Also part of this year’s team is the piloting of VUZIX Smart Glasses, a newly-emerged technological solution to including virtual participants in surgery.

The team commenced on December 11th, 2022 and will run through to December 14th, 2022. The surgeries and aftercare are held at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital while the simulation exercises and theoretical component will be held at the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment Conference Room.

A total of eight surgical patients are scheduled for procedures during the week. Seven surgeons will engage in laparoscopic training, five from SVG, one from St. Kitts and one from St. Lucia. Dr. Ellis shares “we are excited to amplify these services at our local Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. This group focuses on expanding the capacities of our surgeons and accommodating more surgeries with shorter hospital time, less pain medication and anesthesia.”

World Pediatric Project CEO Vafa Akhavan reports “there is an incredible ecosystem that helps WPP, from equipment manufacturers and suppliers, to the companies that make the screws and the plates, to the very essential part of this ecosystem that are funders. Mustique Charitable Foundation, one of WPP’s largest donors, has sponsored this particular mission and WPP is tremendously appreciative of their support and contributions over the years, especially to the children of SVG.” He adds that it is important to understand it’s not just the doctors and technology that make these missions possible but also the citizens, their hospitality and kindness, from ground transport to hotel staff.

World Pediatric Project is resolute in the mission of ensuring brighter futures through expanded health services and treatment for our children. Local funding partners such as Mustique Charitable Foundation and the Maria Holder Memorial Trust support WPP in identifying innovative ways to reach more families and transform more lives. Due to the efficient use of funds and strong relationships with such important supporters, WPP has been able to provide pediatric specialty care to over 3,000 children in just St. Vincent alone the last two decades.

Remarkably, 93% of each dollar received from contributors is used for program-related work. WPP will continue to meet the needs of our children in 2023 and beyond. The next surgical team, led by pediatric surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Lukish, is slated for January 2023 at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

World Pediatric Project continues to prioritize the medical needs of Vincentian children and to enhance the lives of their families, ensuring no child is left behind. The work of the WPP and its impact can be followed at