Empowering Neurosurgery in Low and Middle-Income Countries through Equipment Support

Empowering Neurosurgery in Low and Middle-Income Countries through Equipment Support

Spotlight on Hôpital National Donka in Conakry, Guinea

FIENS is a proud partner and supporter of the Madison Microneurosurgery Initiative (MMI), a nonprofit organization founded in the Baskaya Lab in February 2020 in Madison, WI at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Founded in 2020, Founder Abdullah Keles and the MMI team have already donated 57 stereo microscopes, several macro, and micro instrument sets, and training materials to 28 different locations in 18 different LMICs. To learn more about the story of MMI, please see the article here.

At the beginning of 2023, in partnership with MMI, Dr. Dempsey, Board Chair of FIENS, Dr. Keles and Dr. Alpha B. Bah have upgraded much-needed neurosurgical equipment at Hôpital National Donka in Conakry, Guinea. One of only two hospitals in the country that can perform neurosurgical procedures, and without an appropriately equipped neurosurgical theater in the country, the need for modernized neurosurgical tools was great. 

The micro neurosurgery setup donated to Hôpital National Donka in Conakry, Guinée (Photo from A. Keles)

Dr. Bah, a neurosurgeon at Hôpital National Donka, recently shared that since receiving the motorized tools and neurosurgical equipment, they have already performed 23 procedures and significantly cut down on the amount of time and resources used during those procedures. For example, with the addition of the cranial drill instead of using the Gigli saw, the length of time to begin a neurosurgical procedure has been reduced by 25 minutes. The modern cranial drill also reduces bleeding and increases successful outcomes for the neurosurgical patient. The drill is also able to be sterilized and reused allowing it to be a much more sustainable tool. 

In the future, Dr. Keles plans to continue to support Dr. Bah and his team at Hôpital National Donka by providing training for the new microscopes they received with their neurosurgical set. 

We were able to perform a neurosurgical procedure which included removing a cyst and adding a shunt for this young boy who was in a coma and unresponsive when he arrived at our hospital. Our new equipment allowed us to successfully and rapidly address his needs.

– Dr. Alpha B Bah

The young patient pictured is a beneficiary of the newly acquired equipment.