• 01/10/2008

Africa in the spotlight

The cities of Valencia and St Louis (USA) are heading a project which aims to help cure illnesses of the central nervous system which affect children in East Africa. One such disease is hydrocephalus, which in Kenya alone affects some 2,000 children every year. At present, only 400 can be treated.

The disease can easily be cured in any hospital in developed countries, yet it is one of the most common problems among children in Africa, where there are up to 14,000 cases every year. The project involves training doctors in endoscopy procedures and preparing neurosurgeons. Paul H. Young and Mahmood Qureshi, who are based in St Louis and Kenya respectively, are responsible for introducing the programme and seeking funding. The programme aims, among other things, to introduce the concept of mobile neuroendoscopies, to continue training future neurosurgeons and to provide at least one mobile neuroendoscopy station for each country in East Africa, in particular Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Under the name of the St. Louis?Valencia Mission Programme, the project is supported by the American foundation FIENS (Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery) and the Spanish foundation NED (Neurosurgery, Learning and Development) and aims to provide effective solutions for the weakest and the most vulnerable sector of the population, namely children. This particularly applies to a continent in need in which there are only 18 neurosurgeons for a population of 100 million people. By contrast, in developed countries, such as Spain, the ratio is one neurosurgeon for between 70,000 and 80,000 people.habitantes por neurocirujano.