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Bradford Dr gets highest award of Mauritius

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A doctor from Bradford Royal Infirmary has been praised for his work in helping to improve medical care in his home country of Mauritius as he received the nation’s highest civilian honour

PROUD: Dr Sulleman Moreea was presented with the Grand Officer of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean award last month for his work in Mauritius

PROUD: Dr Sulleman Moreea was presented with the Grand Officer of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean award last month for his work in Mauritius

Dr Sulleman Moreea was presented with the Grand Officer of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean Medal by the President of Mauritius, Mr Kailash Purryag, at a formal ceremony on Thursday 19th June.

The award is the equivalent of a British knighthood and commends the work Dr  Moreea has undertaken since 2008 – helping to introduce, train and improve endoscopies across the country’s five hospitals.

Working closely with Mauritius’ Ministry of Health and Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, the Bradford practitioner has done much of the work at his own expense, and time, including travel, equipment, and training.

Speaking upon his return to the UK, Dr Moreea thanked his friends, family and colleagues for helping him achieve the award, adding that there was still more work to be done.

“I felt exceedingly proud when I received the medal from the President of Mauritius and was just bursting with emotion,” he said.

“I think this medal signals the start of a new episode, and every morning now I wake up thinking ‘how am I going to justify this medal’ but in fact I have a plan. “We are in the middle of it right now and have achieved a lot but there is still a lot more to come and as things progress in the UK, I need to transfer this know-how to Mauritius.”

Following the formal presentation, Dr Moreea and his family held their own celebratory event, but not before an invite to a tea party at the State House where the president and prime minister spoke to all nominees and their relatives.

This was described by Dr Moreea as an ‘extremely memorable occasion’ and one he will never forget.

“After we had finished with all the formalities we then had a huge garden party for family, friends and colleagues. Even the vice-prime minister of country came and we had a great time.”

Since starting work in Mauritius, the country’s five hospitals have seen their operating standards improve significantly with endoscopies now able to be performed in units which previously didn’t even exist. In one hospital, in the south of the country, Dr Moreea not only paid for an architect to design a room which could cater for endoscopy facilities but also paid for the equipment.

Since operations began in 2012, more than 600 have been performed.

 

Pioneering

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Bradford Teaching Hospitals is the first site in the UK to trial a powder called the ‘Hemospray’, which aims to stop ulcers from bleeding and help patients avoid open surgery and long hospital stays.

Dr Sulleman Moreea is UK’s chief investigator for the trials to treat bleeding peptic ulcers at Bradford Royal Infirmary

Dr Sulleman Moreea is UK’s chief investigator for the trials to treat bleeding peptic ulcers at Bradford Royal Infirmary

Dr Sulleman Moreea, who is the UK’s chief investigator for the HALT trial (as it is known) said: “Gastrointestinal bleeding remains one of the most important emergencies in gastroenterology.

Traditionally, the way doctors treat bleeding ulcers in the stomach and duodenum is to use an endscope – to inject adrenaline and to cauterise or stem the blood-flow through the use of medical clips.

“This technique can be technically demanding and difficult. If the bleeding can’t be controlled, the patient will have to be transferred to the operating theatre for major surgery which is usually always followed by a long stay in hospital to recuperate.

“Hemospray is a new powder that appears to act quickly when sprayed on to the ulcer to control the bleeding and can be easily inserted via endoscope. Although there is a learning curve for the use of the Hemospray, ultimately this is an easier technique compared to the current methods which we use.”

The HALT study is a multi-national, commercial study funded by US-based pharmaceutical company, Cook Medical, involving centres in Hong Kong, Canada, Holland and the United States.

It aims to recruit 80 patients worldwide, of which 40 have been recruited so far.

bradford royal infirmary
The Bradford team, which includes specialist research nurse, Karl Ward, have screened eight people and recruited three patients since the study began in February. The hospital hopes to recruit 10 patients in total over the next five months.

Initial reports of Hemospray’s usefulness in stemming bleeding peptic ulcers in the USA have proved promising but were limited by the small number of patients, so  larger studies such as HALT will confirm its true worth in the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Dr Moreea added. “If the Hemospray proves effective in this current study then further research will be carried out to directly compare the powder against the current techniques of adrenaline, cauterization and clips.

“If the Hemospray proves less successful than we think it will be, doctors will use the current endoscopic and surgical techniques to stem the bleeding.”

Currently, the Foundation Trust sees between two to three patients every month with peptic ulcers, while around three to four patients a year will end up in surgery if endoscopic options fail to stop their bleeding.
“Bradford patients will benefit from this new treatment if it proves effective as their bleeding will be easier to control and hopefully fewer patients will need to go to surgery for peptic ulcers,” added Mr Ward.

Nottingham University Hospitals will be the only other UK site to take part in the trial and the team there will be led by consultant gastroenterologist, Professor Krish Ragunath.