SOURCE: PENTAX Medical Company

PENTAX Medical Company

January 19, 2016 07:30 ET

PENTAX Medical Supports Massachusetts General Hospital With In-Kind Donation to Ugandan Hospital

MONTVALE, NJ--(Marketwired - January 19, 2016) - PENTAX Medical Company, a healthcare industry leader in endoscopic imaging, reports participation in the Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Global Health (MGH-CGH), Mbarara Gastrointestinal Unit Program, by donating a complete endoscopy tower, consisting of a video gastroscope, a video processor, and a monitor. The Program launched in 2013, when Samson Okello, MD, clinical lecturer and designate physician at Mbarara University Teaching Hospital, reached out to MGH-CGH after a notable increase in gastrointestinal cases among patients.

"With the expanding rollout of antiretroviral therapy in Uganda, many people are living longer lives, well past their thirties and forties," said Okello. "As such, we needed to shift our medical focus on developing the infrastructure to treat non-communicable diseases, including gastrointestinal cancers -- a focus urgently needed."

As a result, David Bangsberg, MD, director of MGH-CGH, agreed to send Kathleen Corey, MD, director of the MGH Fatty Liver Clinic and the MGH Gastrointestinal Unit, to Uganda to train Mbarara Hospital's physician staff on how to evaluate patients for gastrointestinal issues. With the help of Dr. Norman Shizuaki Nishioka, MD, director of Endoscopy for MGH, Corey was able to get in touch with PENTAX Medical, which provided the Program with the requested equipment.

The frequency of which endoscopic procedures at Mbarara hospital are performed point to the program's success. When Corey first visited in November of 2013, physicians could only provide patients with an endoscopic procedure one day a month. Today, as a result of the work between MGH-CGH and PENTAX, the rate has increased to four days a month, with the amount of endoscopy procedures quadrupling from ten to forty a month. Additionally, the amount of doctors trained in upper endoscopy increased from one physician and one nurse, to three physicians and multiple nurses, enabling the hospital to always have someone on staff to evaluate patients for GI-specific issues. Arguably the best addition to the program is the Mbarara Hospital's ability to offer emergency endoscopy, off hours. Mbarara Hospital has been utilizing the PENTAX EG-2990K Video Gastroscope and the PENTAX EPK-1000 Video Processor.

The advent of the Mbarara Gastrointestinal Unit Program brought patients from all over the region and from surrounding countries (Eastern DR congo, Northern Rwanda, and Northwestern Tanzania), because there is nowhere else to receive gastroenterological diagnostics using an endoscope.

"I spent time with patients who have walked twenty to thirty miles to Mbarara Hospital, or took a bus hundreds of miles away, just to lay on the hospital floor until they could receive an endoscopic procedure," said Corey. "Many of these patients paid money out of their own pockets, and slept on the ground until it was their turn to see a doctor. Patients showed immense gratitude for performing a standard procedure."

The Program is continues to evolve with Africa's growing endoscopy field. In the Spring of 2016, Corey will visit Tanzania, where there is another gastroenterological unit. Additionally, she has collected data showing the increasing prevalence of obstructive esophageal cancer. As the treatment requires esophageal stenting and banding, Corey is expanding the training program so that gastroenterologists in Africa can learn therapeutic endoscopy techniques. PENTAX Medical continues to be a frequent supporter of endoscopy programs throughout the developing world as well. As this region, and other developing countries take more interest and direct more resources to gastroenterology units, it is a hope that the health and quality of life, of their populations will continue to improve.

About PENTAX Medical
PENTAX Medical is a division of Hoya Group. Its mission is to improve the standard of patient care and quality of healthcare delivery by providing the best endoscopic products and services with a focus on QUALITY, CLINICALLY RELEVANT INNOVATION, and SIMPLICITY. Through leading-edge R&D and manufacturing, PENTAX Medical provides endoscopic imaging devices and solutions to the global medical community. Headquartered in Japan, PENTAX Medical has a worldwide focus and presence with R&D, regional sales, service, and in-country facilities around the globe. PENTAX Medical employees represent the diverse countries where we do business, allowing us to provide innovative solutions tailored to meet local needs. For more information, please visit www.pentaxmedical.com/pentax/service/usa.

About Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $760 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine. In July 2015, MGH returned into the number one spot on the 2015-16 U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."

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