Profile: Bassett Fellowship Alumni, Dr. Hervé Lekuya

Training Program: Neurosurgery training program: College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) – Neurosurgery Residency Neurosurgery Unit- Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda

Sponsors: Dr. Alexander Evins, Dr. Roger Hartl, Dr. Antonio Bernardo 

In March of 2022 Dr. Lekuya completed his fellowship at The Surgical Innovations Laboratory for Skull Base Microsurgery at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center under the guidance of trainers Dr. Antonio Bernardo and Dr. Alexander Evins.  Hervé is undergoing the Neurosurgery Residency under the COSECSA regional program through the collaboration of Mulago Hospital and Duke Global Neurology & Neurosurgery. Dr. Lekuya is sitting the board exam this year and as part of the COSECSA Regulations Examination In Neurosurgery FCS Neuro (ECSA).  He was required to spend an elective rotation of up to six months in a different neurosurgery unit outside his country of training in order to gain experience with a spectrum of neurosurgical disciplines.  

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Lekuya. Here are some highlights from what he shared: 

Honestly speaking, this has been the greatest experience of the improvement of my neurosurgical skills that is critical for neurosurgical practice in my home country (Uganda).

This FIENS-Bassett fellowship has refined and sharpened my neurosurgical knowledge, skills, eyes, steadiness, and hands-on experience. Basically, I had the opportunity to discover the complex and detailed anatomical relationships of the skull base structures mainly, as well as the finest details of skull base surgical techniques and corridors. I strongly believe that this is the best training opportunity that I have had in my Neurosurgical education.”  

When asked what his future plans were regarding a new neurosurgical site and creating infrastructure in Uganda Dr. Lekuya responded: 

I have a plan of setting up a dedicated unit for skull base surgery with the FIENS collaboration. There is a need for building up expertise in that area where the scope of procedures has been widened with the advent of advanced Neuro-imaging in the country. For instance, I believe that we can start by setting up a basic skull base Lab for Neurosurgeons to practice frequently in cadavers, and also to teach others.”

In closing Dr. Lekuya  wished to acknowledge and thank those that supported his FIENS- Basset Fellowship journey. 

From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely express my appreciation to the FIENS-Bassett Fellowship Committee, especially Dr. David Sandberg & Dr. Azam Syed Ahmed for their support and kindness to make this happen. I would express my acknowledgement to Dr. Antonio Bernardo and Dr. Alexander Evins, and also the Chair of the Weill Cornell Neurological Surgery, Dr. Philip Stieg, for their acceptance of my application to join their State of Art skull base Lab. Dr. Antonio has dedicated several hours of his time to training me in a face-to-face format that I felt to be so precious. Thank you for that, it was really memorable for me. I would extend my acknowledgment to Dr. Roger Hartl for his kindness, support, and recommendations throughout the process. He is one of the mentors who believed in me as a  Neurosurgeon and inspired me to work hard with a commitment to my neurosurgical education. I would also express my acknowledgment to the Mulago Hospital COSECSA Neurosurgery faculty, Dr. Michael Muhumuza, Dr. Peter Ssenyonga, & Dr. Joel Kiryabwire, to the Duke Global Neurology and Neurosurgery, especially Dr. Michael Haglund for the continuous input and support in my neurosurgical education in Uganda for several years. Last, but not least, I would extend my acknowledgement to all my Co-fellows from all over the world during my stay; they have assisted me through this learning, guided me, and also taught me several things beyond the curriculum.”