Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2014 Contents B1
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Dr Anthony Kalloo has
been in the medical field
since he was 19, and has
worked as a doctor and medical
researcher in the United States
for much of his life. He is one of
the world s pre-eminent gastroen-
terologists, and is the director of
that division at the renowned
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Balti-
Kalloo has not forgotten his
home, and wants to make a con-
tribution to T&T s healthcare sys-
tem, starting with improved treat-
ment for digestive diseases.
"I m from Trinidad, I ve spent
all my training and my life in diges-
tive diseases, I would like to see
care for patients with digestive dis-
eases improve," Kalloo said.
He said wealthier patients sought
him out in Baltimore for treatment,
but he would like the type of care
he specialises in to be available in
T&T, for everyone.
"They don t have to come to the
States to get good care," he said,
adding it was not necessarily that
healthcare was not good in T&T,
but some of the specialised and
high-end procedures were unavail-
The Woodbrook native, now 58,
was in T&T for a few days earlier
this week, finalising an initiative
with the Ministry of Health that
ultimately seeks to improve the
care of patients with digestive dis-
A handful of specially selected
local doctors will get the oppor-
tunity to travel to Johns Hopkins
Hospital for a gastrointestinal (GI)
immersion programme, where they
will shadow Kalloo and other GI
The programme will expose
young doctors to the latest proce-
dures and newest techniques in GI
surgeries, specially by using
"Endoscopy refers to taking a
tube with a light, like a long tel-
escope, and we could put it through
the mouth and we can look inside
the stomach and intestine and
diagnose things like ulcer disease
and cancer. Similarly we can insert
it and look at the large intestine
and diagnose precancerous con-
ditions," he explained.
This non-invasive procedure
therefore eliminates the need for
cutting into patients skin and mus-
cle, and reduces their recovery time.
He said there have been major
advancements in endoscopic treat-
ment in the last two decades
because of improvements in tech-
"The idea is to bring these
advanced technologies to Trinidad.
That s why Johns Hopkins has this
relationship with the Ministry of
Health to improve the care of diges-
tive disease patients."
It is not the first partnership, as
entities have previously worked
together since 2008 under the T&T
Health Sciences Initiative, on a dia-
betes programme and training for
Kalloo, a regular masquerader
for Carnival to this day, attended
Fatima College and taught sciences
at St Joseph s Convent, Port-of-
Spain, for a year before going to
medical school at the University
of the West Indies, Mona campus.
He did a year-long internship at
Port-of-Spain General Hospital,
completed his residency training
in three years at Howard University,
a fellowship programme for three
more years at Georgetown Univer-
sity, then joined the faculty at Johns
"I was in school for a long time,"
Kalloo commented on the
healthcare system in T&T, saying
there were good doctors, and the
Ministry of Health was working
hard to make changes where need-
"There are lots of infrastructural
changes that you have to make.
For example, when I go work, I go
for 7.30 in the morning, and I am
there till six or seven in the evening.
That s a different mentality to
here...But if you want to make a
meaningful change, you really have
to be committed."
He said everyone had to make
a concerted effort to build and
maintain a working system.
"You cannot have a specialised
piece of equipment and when it
goes down you don t have it for
T&T doctor at Johns Hopkins working towards...
Improved healthcare for
digestive disease patients
Kalloo conceptualised and
pioneered a type of intricate
abdominal endoscopic procedure
called natural orifice translumenal
endoscopic surgery (Notes), which
is an incision-free alternative to
laparoscopic surgery and allows
gastroenterologists to access
abdominal organs without cutting
through skin and muscle. Instead,
organs are accessed via the mouth
or another orifice and then through
the abdominal wall.
Patients recover faster, have less
pain and get back to work quicker,
which also means tremendous
health care costs savings.
"It takes the concept of
laparoscopic surgery a step
further," he said.
Fifteen years ago there was
much scepticism about Kalloo's
idea, but today the technique is
done worldwide, with over 3,000
patients undergoing the procedure.
"It's still slow in terms of
evolution, because we're still
developing new equipment and
devices to make it safe."
Dr Anthony Kalloo
Hollywood s award season, never
known for civility, is roiling from a
heckling incident between 12 Years a
Slave director Steve McQueen and film
critic Armond White.
At the New York Film Critics Circle
Awards on Monday night, White
allegedly jeered McQueen as "an embar-
rassing doorman and garbage man"
while he was presented the best director
award by Harry Belafonte. McQueen
dismissed the outburst, apparently not
bothered by it.
In an e-mail Tuesday to 12 Years a
Slave distributor Fox Searchlight,
NYFCC chairman Joshua Rothkopf
apologised to Fox Searchlight and
McQueen for "the crass bit of heckling."
White, an editor for CityArts, is known
for his contrarian film reviews. He
panned 12 Years a Slave as "torture
In response to questions by e-mail,
White disputed reports about his
awards-night behaviour but declined
to explain what he said of McQueen.
NY film critics apologise for heckling director at banquet
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