Israel’s Lumenis said more than 100 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) were treated with the company’s Holmium laser technology during a recent six-day medical mission to Haiti by the nonprofit group GSD Healthcare.
The mission, GSD’s fifth to Haiti, included some 50 surgeries. After its conclusion, Lumenis donated its 100W Laser to a hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city.
“Men who suffer from BPH experience symptoms such as increased frequency and urgency of urination,” mission leader Mitchell Humphreys, MD, a urologist with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said in a press release. “Our work from the mission left a huge impact on the people of Haiti. It was incredibly moving to treat these patients [and] allow these men to be husbands, fathers, and the freedom to be present within their community.”
Humphreys added: “During the mission, we used the Lumenis 100W Laser, which was critical in treating these patients, as the technology allowed us to treat many patients in a short amount of time with favorable outcomes, and ultimately, enhance their quality of life.”
BPH occurs in most men as they age; an estimated 50-60 percent of men in their 60s and 80-90 percent of men in their 70s and 80s have the disease. It’s an easily treated condition, as long as patients have access to adequate medication and surgery. Yet in underdeveloped countries such as Haiti, men often end up with severe and untreated symptoms.
In January 2010, Port-au-Prince was devastated by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake that killed anywhere from 115,000 to 300,000 people; the city and its environs are still recovering from that catastrophe. In addition, the Caribbean nation continues to reel from a widespread cholera epidemic. Poverty is endemic, and per-capita income hovers around $300 a year — making Haiti the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Through patient education and compassionate care, the GSD mission aimed to restore community values by way of medical intervention that would otherwise be unavailable to average Haitians.
“Lumenis is honored to be a part of the fifth medical mission to Haiti,” said Tzipi Ozer-Armon, CEO of Lumenis. “We are proud to provide holmium laser technology in support of bringing healthcare and humanitarian assistance to those patients suffering with BPH in Haiti. We look forward to furthering our partnerships with key leaders of the medical community to continue establishing important programs and initiatives to offer life-changing treatments to patients globally.”