An enthusiastic IVUmed team conducted a reconstructive urology workshop in Kigali, Rwanda from June 1-8, 2019. Dr. Jeremy Myers, former IVUmed Board Member and committed volunteer, led the workshop and was joined by Drs. Hadley Wood, Philip Cheng, & Yooni Ann Yi. These volunteers collaborated with local surgeons in Rwanda; including Drs. Emile Rwamasirabo, Edouard Ngendahayo, & Florence Umurangwawho; who helped organize the workshop.

The IVUmed workshop focused on urethroplasty and penile reconstruction. They performed about 20 surgeries, including five posterior urethroplasties, with the majority being very challenging. The workshop was held in three locations: Military Hospital, CHUK, & King Faisel.

Dr. Jeremy Myers reported that the Rwandan site has grown in the past few years. “Overall, the site has changed substantially from my last trip five years ago. They are more organized and have many more trainees. There were five-six trainees and designated attendings at all locations.” Dr. Myers added, “there were better instruments at each location, and the trainees and attendings were engaged in the workshop. For instance, we screened cases on Saturday and Sunday and then had two rooms the rest of the trip. The team was able to split into two hospitals the last day. This was a big difference from five years ago where I was frequently operating with the IVU resident alone.”

This workshop focused heavily on teaching, embodying IVUmed’s motto Teach One, Reach Many. “From an educational perspective, I felt the fellows were well served, as well as the Rwandan surgeons.” Dr. Myers reported. Drs. Cheng & Yi were able to “participate at a very high level, taking the Rwandan surgeons through may of the cases.”

Rwanda has eight urologists serving a population of over 12 million. Neighboring countries share similar statistics. This site has the potential to spread education throughout the region. The team trained a urology fellow, who will be leaving for Burundi to join three other urologists. Dr. Fred Kirya, the dean of a nascent medical school in Uganda, traveled from Uganda to observe the medical workshop. Additionally, the chief resident they trained is moving to a hospital in the south of Rwanda.

Thank you to IVUmed volunteers Drs. Myers, Wood, Cheng, & Yi for your hard work, generosity, and willingness to share your expertise with our partners. We are grateful for our partners in Rwanda, including Drs. Rwamasirabo, Ngendahayo, & Umurangwawho, who are critical to the success of IVUmed workshops. Finally, we are very appreciative of our generous donors. You – our generous volunteers, partners, and donors – make workshops like this possible.