Surgeons International Award Recipients

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The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.

 

Surgeons International Award

Professor Richard Bennett and his wife Enid established the Surgeons International Award in 1989 to provide support for short-term visits to Australia for worthy individuals identified by teams participating in the College's International Development Program.

The below profiles highlight the stories and achievements of just a few of the recipients, all of whom are dedicated to the development of surgery and health care in their home countries.

Surgeons International Award Recipients

Dr Malemo 'Luc' Kalisya

Democratic Republic of Congo

Scholar profilesDirector and sole general surgeon within his home hospital HEAL Africa in Goma, Eastern Congo, Dr Malemo 'Luc' Kalisya was supported to participate at the 2013 ASC in Auckland where he gave a presentation on surgery in the DR Congo, and to undertake a four week attachment at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). Under the guidance of his supervisor and mentor of seven years, Dr Neil Wetzig, Dr Luc observed a number of new surgical procedures, attended public hospital outpatient clinics, learnt about the PAH's trauma service, and participated in the hospital's mortality and morbidity meetings - an activity Dr Luc learned greatly from and one he intends to implement at HEAL Africa. Dr Luc reported that he also benefitted greatly from his participation, and the networking opportunities at the ASC:

"I am the only general surgeon at my hospital for six million people which can be an isolating experience, so it was good to have many discussions about surgery at the Auckland meeting".

Since returning to Goma Dr Luc continues his role in surgical education, and aims to increase the surgeon-to-patient ratio from the current situation of one surgeon per one million people, to one surgeon per one hundred thousand people. He intends to travel to the capital Kinshasa to advocate for official support for trauma training and services. Dr Wetzig firmly believes that Dr Luc has the potential to lead surgical advances in the Eastern Congo, and looks forward to their continued relationship in the future.

To read more about Dr Luc and surgery in the Eastern Congo, see page 22 of July's RACS Surgical News. Dr Wetzig and Dr Luc were also featured in the ABC's 7.30 report "Australian Doctors Brave War to Help African Hospital".

(Pictured left with mentor and supervisor Dr Neil Wetzig)

 

Prof Zaw Wai Soe

Myanmar

Scholar profilesProfessor Zaw Wai Soe, Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at Yangon General Hospital, was jointly supported to travel to Melbourne in 2011 through the Surgeons International Award and the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM). Prof Zaw Wai Soe's program included visits to the Emergency Departments of St Vincent's, the Alfred and the Royal Melbourne Hospitals. During the visit he attended the National Trauma Research Institute's "From roadside to recovery: successful systems of trauma care" conference in Melbourne and the ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney. His visit to Australia was designed to inform and assist with the development of Emergency Medicine in Myanmar and is part of an ongoing relationship between the Myanmar Medical Association, the RACS and the ACEM. The development of Emergency Medicine is a natural progression from the teachings of Primary Trauma Care courses that were introduced in Myanmar by the College in 2009 as a response to Cyclone Nargis. The skills, knowledge and contacts gained during his visit has placed Prof Zaw Wai Soe in a better position to advocate for the development of Accident and Emergency Medicine in Myanmar and he has become a key leader in this important initiative. To read more about RACS's involvement in developing Emergency Medicine in Myanmar click here

(Pictured speaking at the RACS 2012 International Development Medical Symposium)

 

Dr Noah Tapaua

Papua New Guinea

Scholar profilesDr Noah Tapaua is a general surgeon from Bougainville Province, Papua New Guinea. Recognising cardiothoracic surgery as a strong area of need in his country, Dr Tapaua was keen to subspecialise in this area. In 2007 the Surgeons International Award supported Dr Tapaua's travel to Australia and his settling-in expenses in Geelong, where he undertook a 2-year attachment in cardiothoracic surgery at the Geelong Hospital under the supervision of Mr Morteza Mohajeri. Dr Tapaua returned to PNG in February 2009 and became the first surgeon-educator of cardiothoracic surgery in PNG. He went on to receive a Rowan Nicks Pacific Island Scholarship and is undertaking an attachment in cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart Centre in Singapore in 2013.

 

Dr Jambi Garap

Papua New Guinea

Scholar profilesOphthalmologist Jambi Garap undertook an attachment at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital through the support of the Surgeons International Award in 2009. Dr Garap worked under the supervision of Dr Robert Buttery for the 3-month tenure of the attachment through which she improved her diagnostic skills and gained further experience in retinal surgical procedures. Dr Garap is very active in the development of eye care services in PNG through the NGO "PNG Eye Care" which she founded in 2008. In collaboration with the International Centre for Eye Care (ICEE) she has successfully set up three Vision Centres in Lae, Mount Hagen and Port Moresby providing much needed refraction services and spectacles to communities. Dr Garap is currently involved in developing more Vision Centres in other locations, including Rabaul and Mendi. PNG Eye Care is also developing a National Spectacle Supply System for Papua New Guinea under Dr Garap's direction, bringing affordable spectacles to remote areas.

 

Dr Matupi Apaio

Papua New Guinea

Scholar profilesDr Matupi Apaio from Papua New Guinea was supported under the Surgeons International Award to visit Australia for three weeks in July 2005. While in Australia, Dr Apaio participated in the Westmead Hospital Oral & Maxillofacial (OMF) Surgery revision course in Sydney and undertook two one-week attachments; the first with Dr Paul Duke in Adelaide and the second with Mr Andrew Heggie in Melbourne. In November 2005, Dr Apaio became the first Papua New Guinean OMF surgeon and has been a key figure in the continuation of the OMF training program in PNG. Dr Apaio has maintained a strong relationship with Australia, particularly through his involvement with the Australia and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery's (ANZAOMS) overseas aid activities in PNG.

(Pictured centre)

 

Dr Viet Vo Van

Dr Nhan Phan Tran Dai

Vietnam

Scholar profilesSurgeons Dr Viet Vo Van and Dr Nhan Phan Tran Dai from Quy Nhon Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Centre in Central Vietnam spent six weeks in New Zealand attending theatre and surgical consultations in Auckland, Nelson and Dunedin hospitals from February to April 2011. The Quy Nhon Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Centre is a relatively small hospital that fulfils a unique role in providing treatment for disabled children, especially those with cerebral palsy, whilst also providing care for adults with mostly trauma induced disability. In 2011, the Centre was upgraded and rebuilt into a larger hospital, creating the need for an exchange whereby local surgeons could learn advanced surgical techniques that could be employed to improve their practice at the refurbished Centre upon their return. During their time in New Zealand, the Vietnamese doctors observed complex operations such as hip and knee replacements, the treatment of rotator cuff injuries of the shoulder and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. They also gained an understanding of the role of physiotherapy in rehabilitation and more broadly the organisation and operation of orthopaedic departments and outreach clinics within New Zealand hospitals. The visit was a continuation of an ongoing relationship between New Zealand and Vietnamese surgeons, coordinated by the New Zealand Viet Nam Health Trust. An article about the Vietnamese doctors' visit is featured in the August 2011 edition of Surgical News (page 12).

 

I Made Surata Witarsa

I Made Oka Adnyana

Siluh Nyoman Alit Nuryan

Indonesia

Three nurses from Sanglah General Hospital (SGH) Denpasar, Indonesia were supported to participate in an orthopaedic nursing program at the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) between May and July 2011. Sanglah General Hospital is the major referral hospital for Eastern Indonesia, with over 750 beds; the hospital has a large number of orthopaedic patients, many of whom are injured in motorcycle accidents. This visit to RDH reinforced the training the nurses have received through visits undertaken by Orthopaedic Outreach teams to SGH over several years. The three nurses, I Made Surata Witarsa, Siluh Nyoman Alit Nuryani and I Made Oka Adnyana came from three different areas of the hospital where Orthopaedic patients are treated; the emergency department, acute medical-surgical ward and the intensive care unit. It is hoped that the skills and knowledge gained will allow the nurses to implement positive changes across SGH so that Orthopaedic patients receive improved care throughout their hospital stay.

 

Surgeons International Award Register 1991 - Present

Name & Country

Year of Attachment

Hospital of Attachment

Speciality

China

Prof Cheng Zhaoyun

2010

St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne)

Cardiology

Cook Islands

Dr Teariki Noovao

1997

St George Hospital (Sydney)

Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr Tokoitu Marsters

2000

Frankston Hospital (Melbourne)

Anaesthesia

Democratic Republic of Congo

Dr Malemo Luc Kalisya

2013

2013 ASC

Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane)

General Surgery

Fiji

Ifereimi Waqainabete

2007

Definitive Surgical Trauma Care Course (Melbourne)

General Surgery

Indonesia

Dr Putu Budhiastra

2008

Royal Perth Hospital

Vitreo Retina Surgery

I Made Surata Witarsa

2011

Royal Darwin Hospital

Orthopaedic Nursing

I Made Oka Adnyana

2011

Royal Darwin Hospital

Orthopaedic Nursing

Siluh Nyoman Alit Nuryan

2011

Royal Darwin Hospital

Orthopaedic Nursing

Dr Dini Dharmawidiarini

2012

Various Perth hospitals

Ophthalmology

Kiribati

Sr Helen Murdock

1997

St John of God Hospital (Ballarat)

Tri Rhosen Day Surgery Centre (Brisbane)

General Nursing

Sr Kuuta Teinging

1997

St John of God Hospital (Ballarat)

Tri Rhosen Day Surgery Centre (Brisbane)

General Nursing

Malaysia

Dr Ranjit Oommen

1991

 

1992

 

 

 

1999

 

St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne)

Caritas Christi Hospice (Melbourne)

Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (Melbourne)

 

Asian Surgical Association meeting (Brisbane)

General Surgery

Cecelia Chiang

1992

 

General Nursing

Annie Cheong

1992

 

General Nursing

Dr R Ragupathy Naidu

1994

1994 ASC (Hobart)

Austin Hospital (Melbourne)

Goulburn Valley Base Hospital (Victoria)

Wagga Wagga Base Hospital (NSW)

Calvary Hospital (Melbourne)

General Surgery

Dr John Cardosa

1994

International Palliative Care Society meeting (Madrid)

 

Dr Lei Saafi

 

 

 

Myanmar

Dr Moe Thuzar

2008

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

 

Prince of Wales Hospital (Sydney)

Plastic Surgery

Prof Zaw Wai Soe

2011

St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne)

Trauma

Nigeria

Dr Jospeh Megwa

1995

John Hunter Hospital (Newcastle)

Paediatric Surgery

Papua New Guinea

Danny Gre

2001

Monash Medical Centre

Cabrini Hospital (Melbourne)

Theatre Nurse

Dr Mclee Mathew

2002

2002 ASC (Adelaide)

Paediatric Surgery

Dr William Kaptigau

2004

Alfred Hospital (Melbourne)

Neurosurgery

Dr Benjamin Yapo

2005

Sunshine Hospital (Melbourne)

Geelong Hospital  

St John of God Hospital (Ballarat)

Paediatric Surgery

Dr Matupi Apaio

2005

Westmead Hospital Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery revision course

Adelaide Hospital

Royal Melbourne Hospital

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr Noah Tapaua

2007-2008

Geelong Hospital

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Dr Jambi Garap

2009

Royal Victorian Ear & Eye Hospital (Melbourne)

Ophthalmology

Dr Sam Endican

2008

Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane)

Otolaryngology

Philippines

Dr Abe Mendoza

2010

Sydney Children's Hospital

ENT

Samoa

Dr Aisoli Vaai

1998

Royal Hobart Hospital

Royal Brisbane Hospital

Burns

Solomon Islands

Dr Douglas Pikacha

1999

Head and Neck Dissection Course (Adelaide)

Royal Adelaide Hospital

Head and Neck Surgery

Tonga

Dr Lei Saafi

1988

Bendigo Base Hospital

ENT Surgery

Tuvalu

Sr Filoimanatu Leaumu

1998

Royal Melbourne Hospital

Diabetes

Nese Ituaso

2000

Diabetic Clinic (Royal Melbourne Hospital)

Diabetes

Vanuatu

Dr Ponefasio

1999

Operation Open Heart (OOH)

 

Vietnam

Dr Nguyen Ba Duc

1993

 

 

Dr Nguyen Xuan Cu

1993

 

 

Dr Do Phu Dong

1993

 

 

Dr Nguyen Hong Long

1993

 

 

Dr Nguyen Khac Giang

1994

1994 ASC (Hobart)

Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr Viet Vo Van

2011

Nelson Hospital (NZ)

Starship Hospital (NZ)

Auckland Hospital (NZ)

Dunedin Hospital (NZ)

Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr Nhan Phan Tran Dai

2011

Nelson Hospital (NZ)

Starship Hospital (NZ)

Auckland Hospital (NZ)

Dunedin Hospital (NZ)

Orthopaedic Surgery

 

 

Go to the main page of the Surgeons International Award or the International Scholarships section.