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Stoma Care Nurse Education in Mauritius

Updated: Apr 11

From COMMSSA WA 2017-2019 to Curtin Mauritius 2024


Often, children born with a bowel or bladder abnormality cannot pass faeces or urine normally; a surgeon must create an artificial opening – Stoma  which allows their excreta to go into a pouch. Without the supervision of a Stoma Care nurse, the stoma can leak, the children smell and miss or even do not attend school.  


In March 2017, Dr Serge Toussaint and Dr Mariam Bahemia, Medical Directors of COMMSSA WA in Perth, became aware that several children, whose surgery had been financed by COMMSSA, were in that predicament. They saw the adequate training of Stoma Care Nurses in Mauritius as a pressing need. How could COMMSSA make a difference? 


Ostomy WA advised them to contact Mrs Elizabeth English AM, a Consultant in Stoma and Wound Care in Adelaide and a world authority on Enterostomal Nursing Education.  


From 15-21 November 2017, Mrs Elizabeth English, travelled to Mauritius on a fact-finding mission, with Serge, Mariam, and Mrs Monique Malié, the President of COMMSSA and logistics guru of the operation. Mrs English ran a workshop in Stoma Care at Wellkin Hospital and ascertained that Mauritian nurses were ready and eager to undertake Stoma Care training.


In September 2018 and October 2019, COMMSSA funded Mrs Elizabeth English and Ms Sharon Boxall, a Wound Care nurse from Western Australia, to travel to Mauritius where they held 5-Day Stoma and Wound Care Nursing Education Programs at the Nursing Council of Mauritius, as well as workshops in Rodrigues on 30 and 31 October 2019. The COMMSSA team, who accompanied them, funded their own expenses, as they had done in 2017.


Although COMMSSA WA had taken the first steps, the full and ongoing education of Enterostomal Therapy Nurses would require the involvement of a tertiary institution. We, at COMMSSA, saw Curtin University, Western Australia, as best placed to do so.


In 2019, thanks to Mrs Jenny Dee, Australian High Commissioner in Mauritius, the COMMSSA team met with Professor Lina Pelliccione, President of Curtin Mauritius, on the Charles Telfair campus. We left Mauritius hopeful that, one day, once it became involved in health education, Curtin Mauritius would rise to the challenge.



COVID-19 derailed our efforts. That is until Ms Anaïs Ducray, a member of COMMSSA’s Management Committee, on holiday in Mauritius in October 2023, contacted someone she knew at Curtin. A few days later, Mrs Monique Malié, Ms Anaïs Ducray and Dr Mariam Bahemia (online) together with Dr Odylle Charoux (Acting Head Heath Sc faculty) and Mr Shafiiq Gopee (Head of the Office of Learning and Teaching) met at Curtin Mauritius.   




On 13-14 February 2024, Curtin Mauritius (with Dr Sharon MacLean of Curtin WA at the helm) ran a very successful Stoma Care CPD workshop for nurses, in conjunction with The Charles Telfair Education. Stoma Care Nurse Education in Mauritius is now on track and on its way!





Heartfelt Congratulations and Thank You to Curtin Mauritius for taking up the challenge.


The training of Stoma Care Nurses will transform the quality of life, not only for dozens of children - COMMSSA’s initial concern - but for hundreds of Mauritians living with a stoma.  


We acknowledge the substantial contribution made by Austral Fisheries towards COMMSSA’s, Stoma Care Project. They provided Taxi Transport for our team for the whole duration of our trips to Mauritius and Rodrigues.  

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