2009: Abuja, Nigeria

Fiemu Nwariaku MD, FACS

On July 13-15, 2009, approximately 90 physicians and surgeons attended a 3-day seminar on academic development and surgical skills training at National Hospital Abuja. This joint effort was supported by the Association for Academic Surgery, Ethicon Endo-Surgery (a Johnson & Johnson Company), and Afrinvest West Africa. The course was coordinated by ANPA member, Dr. Ben Nwomeh, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, and included over 10 faculty members from Nigerian and U.S medical schools including the University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, New York University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, Ohio State University, University of Arkansas, Stanford University, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. The keynote address was delivered by the President of the West African College of Surgeons, Professor O. O Mbonu.

During the course, course participants listened to lectures on a variety of topics including clinical study design and clinical trials, biostatistics, grant and manuscript writing. On July 15th the session was dedicated to minimally-invasive surgical skills training. Surgeons underwent laparoscopic skills training and had the opportunity to practice those skills using simulator boxes.

The day was capped by a live surgical case performed in Dallas. Course participants in Abuja watched a single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy being performed live at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. They were able to watch the entire procedure and ask questions of the operating surgeon using a live satellite connection between the National Hospital Abuja and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, courtesy of Galaxy Backbone Plc. Galaxy is a publicly owned private company with the mission of expanding internet connectivity in Nigeria. To our knowledge, this was the first demonstration of telesurgery between the U.S. and Nigeria. Course participants rated the course content very highly and noted that this method could greatly assist in building capacity in healthcare in Nigeria. We believe that this seminal event demonstrates the possibilities achievable with modern information and communication technology (ICT) in the healthcare sector and provides a framework for building a robust telemedicine and remote learning capability to improve healthcare in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

Course participants at the National Hospital Abuja

Report of Neonatal – Perinatal Workshop at the 15th Annual Convention Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA)

– In collaboration with –

Medical Association of Nigerian Specialists and Generalists
(MANSAG- United Kingdom)
Nigeria Medical Association (NMA)
July 13-15, 2009