Antigua and Barbuda’s main health institution, the Mount St John’s Medical Centre, is being readied to have its first kidney transplant operation by June of next year. This type proposed operation is widely believed to be the first of its kind within the OECS.
The announcement comes from Chief of Staff, Lionel Max Hurst, reporting from the Cabinet on Wednesday, that there has been the approval of US $500,000 to upgrade the facility. During the meeting, Cabinet heard a presentation from nephrologist, Dr. Ian Thomas. Dr. Thomas updated Cabinet on the preparations taking place ahead of the intended operation. Hurst relayed that Cabinet was quite impressed with the presentation and, immediately approved the funds to help cover additional equipment.
He explained that the operation will be performed using laparoscopic techniques. Additionally, it is expected that the local team will receive assistance from surgeons from the United States or within the Caribbean where similar operations are performed. These surgeons have agreed to volunteer their services to the operation.
Health Minister, the Honourable Molwyn Joseph, together with the CEO of Mount St John’s Hospital, Gary Thomas, will work along with Dr. Thomas on the preparations for the first operation. Hurst further explained that a kidney transplant operation is performed on two people. The one donating the organ, and the other receiving the organ. Both are thoroughly checked to ensure they are healthy enough to do the complex operation.