Clients’ quality of life is being improved, and neurosurgeons in Kisumu are also benefitting through the opportunity to access mentorship from highly specialized colleagues across the globe.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) as well, has benefitted from a consortium of equipment and tools used in neurosurgical operations. While the surgeons get to attend symposiums, pick lessons from the camps, and get exposure to modern technology in neurosurgery and a window into the future of neurosurgery.
“I am here because when someone like Dr. Khalif Abdifatah works with me, he can fill my shoes. That’s the most important gift to me,” Dr. Jeffery Lobel, a neurosurgeon from the USA serving at the Kisumu Neurocamp said.
“It is not the equipment, it is not anything else. I am here not to be noticed” Dr. Lobel added about mentoring and training as one of the objectives of the Kisumu Neurocamp.
He was cognizant of the fact that Dr. Khalif was just a resident doctor back in 2019 when they came to serve at the Neurocamp. A few years later today, he was scheduled to operate together with Dr. Khalif as a colleague and not as a trainee anymore. “And now I get to work with him as a colleague and see him as a mature doctor.”
During the just concluded symposium, some of the topics discussed were; Decentralized Neurosurgical Service, Surgical Management of Adult Spine Deformity, Difficult Trauma Cases, Traumatic Brain Injury Guidelines: Reviews and Updates, and Safety in the OR lessons from March 27, 1997.
Others were Establishing a Neurosurgery Training program in Kisumu, Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation, Technology Innovations in Neurosurgery, Developing a global Neurosurgery endeavor, Spinal Tuberculosis; diagnoses and Surgical management, Neurosurgical infections, Endovascular Treatment of Ischemic Stroke, Healthcare in Kenya, Surgical approach to Brain Tumors and Multidisciplinary management of Pituitary Tumors.
“We can do these cases but what do we leave behind? It’s good to watch Dr. Khalif blossom from the experience he had with me. I will be back next year to offer more mentorship.” Dr. Lobel added.
Dr. Khalif is one of the neurosurgeons who have benefitted from interacting with highly specialized neurosurgeons across the globe through the Kisumu neurosurgical camp.
Even better, the Kisumu Neuro Science Initiative is taking ambitious steps in turning Kisumu into a Neurosurgical hub. During its third Annual Neurosurgery Symposium, it unveiled a Neurosurgery training program.
The program which is College of Surgeons East, Central & Southern Africa (COSECSA) based targets to train at least one to two FCS Residents annually. Specialists will be graduated after 4 years
The program brings on board Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), Maseno University, and Neuro Science to work together to seize the door to the neurosurgically underserved region.
The program will include complete training through KNI, year 1-3 oral examination while year 4 will require MCQ exams based on board review and year 4 COSESCA 2 MCQ and two oral exams.
To be a fellow in this program, one must have undergone MCS (COSESCA) for two years of surgical, one requires pre-approval by KNI after an oral interview, and one must have applied to FCS (COSESCA).
The program appreciates the challenges the stakeholders face hence it will adopt a flexible training program fully adapted to the infrastructure on the ground.
In preparation for the training, JOOTRH has already got accreditation for FCS (Neuro), and MCS (Surgery) from COSECSA.
JOOTRH will be required to carry out a minimum of 12 Neurosurgical camps annually, at least once every month as part of the training.
Maseno University will identify and groom potential residents while JOOTRH will pay all COSESCA fees for the residents.
The Neuro Science Initiative will avail about eight consultants, they will organize and coordinate the 12 camps annually, and it will offer resident training and examinations during the camps.
The Initiative will establish a KNI curriculum and also conduct a month’s virtual on-call status ideally for covering the Neuro camps period.
Dr. Lee Ogutha was appointed to be the Program Director and Dr. Tim Ogutu was appointed as the deputy director for the program.