CHI has been starting up a new project to help children with CF in Lithuania. While a member of the EU since 2004, Lithuania still lags some way behind the UK in terms of treatment, so we are hopeful that we can repeat the successes that we achieved in Russia and Ukraine. Brandon Taylor, Project Manager, has sent us the following report:
A successful visit took place in March 2006 to the children’s department of Vilnius University Clinic, at the centre of Lithuania’s healthcare system and having a well-deserved reputation as the specialist unit for cystic fibrosis in this small Baltic country. Most CF patients in Lithuania do not survive beyond the age of 18 and are treated with a variety of approaches based on antibiotics, dietary supplements and some physiotherapeutic regimes. Leader of the visit was Dr Ronald Knight from the specialist CF unit at Frimley Park Hospital National Health Trust, with his registrar Dr James Hull, who has a keen interest and a growing expertise in the field.
Dr Knight gave a PowerPoint lecture explaining his preferred techniques in the ancient lecture theatre of the hospital, which was well attended by doctors from several other disciplines as well as by CF specialists.
Pictured here (from left to right) are Dr Hull, Professor Valiulis, Dr Knight, Dr Indratyte and Professor Dumcius, the chief CF physician for children in Lithuania.
Following the lecture, Dr Knight held a clinic for some six children between the ages of six and fifteen, and gave advice on treatment which was appreciatively received.
On the following day, Dr Knight and Dr Hull visited the main adult branch of the Vilnius Lithuania Hospital and had a fruitful exchange of views with Dr Rolandas Zablockis and Dr Elena Bernotiene, the main physicians for the relatively small, but growing, number of adult CF patients in the region. The British group was shown the equipment and the facilities of both branches of the hospital.
Professor Dumcius and Dr Zablockis are likely to visit England in February 2008 to see facilities in the UK.