A specialist bowel cancer team from our Trust is helping the government in Mauritius to set up a screening programme.
The bowel screening team visited the island last month look at how a screening service can be implemented in the country’s existing facilities. Now, based on the team’s recommendations, the government is aiming to set up the first stage of a programme by October 2023.
Clinical director of bowel screening and consultant gastroenterologist Professor Matt Rutter, programme manager Andrew Henson and lead specialist screening practitioner Kelley Williamson flew out on Friday 9 September to co-host a conference on colorectal cancer screening.
“This was a hugely memorable trip for our team. We were made to feel extremely welcome during our stay, thanks to the warmth and hospitality of our hosts.Andrew Henson, bowel screening programme manager
“We were very impressed by the receptiveness and passion from our Mauritian colleagues to ensure the programme is a success. We look forward to continuing to assist in this exciting collaboration.”
Andrew and the team joined two other representatives from the UK – Sally Benton (director of the South of England Screening Hub) and Professor Eva Morris (professor of health data epidemiology at the University of Oxford).
They spent three days in Mauritius where they delivered educational talks to over 100 people, including government and healthcare officials. The team visited the Dr A. G. Jeetoo Hospital in Port Louis to see their current endoscopy facilities and assess how these can be utilised in a bowel screening programme.
They also met with the country’s Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal. They spent an hour discussing the importance and potential benefits of a screening programme in Mauritius.
The Teesside team has since submitted a report with their recommendations in implementing a successful bowel screening programme. Based on their recommendations, the Mauritian government is hoping to execute the first stage of a national screening programme by October 2023.
According to a report published by the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Mauritius in 2020, colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the third most common in women.
A strategic bowel screening programme helps to catch bowel cancer in the early stages when it is most treatable and curable.
The Tees-wide screening programme run by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust meant that last year, Tees Screening Centre received 72,759 completed kits. 1,632 of these showed blood in the sample, resulting in 97 bowel cancer diagnoses. Cancers detected by screening are frequently easier to treat and cure.
More information about bowel screening
For more information about bowel screening, please call the Tees Screening Centre Helpline on 01642 383981 or 0800 0151 506.
More information is also available on our bowel cancer screening page.