Programs Update: Kumasi, Ghana



IVUmed Chair, Hiep “Bob” Nguyen, MD, recently returned from a pediatric urology workshop in Kumasi, Ghana. He reflected on the IVUmed team’s work there and shared these thoughts on the experience:


“It has been a wonderful trip. The team has been working very hard…everyone is exhausted but so energized from being able to take care of so many children. We received so much thanks from the parents, making us wish we could even do more, but there are only so many hours during the day and days during the week.


“Our Ghanian hosts have been so generous with their time and assistance. They crowd our operating room wanting to learn and share their experience with us. 


“The surgical workshops challenge you physically, mentally and spiritually. They give you a new perspective on health care and on kindness, making you a better person with each patient you take care of and each health care provider you help learn.”


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Urology workshops show promising future for urology advances in Kigali, Rwanda

As our first surgical workshop in Rwanda, the IVUmed team was encouraged by the opportunities for surgical education there. The team worked in two sites: Kigali and Gitwe. Our volunteers, led by Drs. Hiep Nguyen and Richard Santucci taught pediatric and reconstructive urology in Kigali, while in Gitwe, reconstructive urology was the primary focus.
Dr. Nguyen and the pediatric urology team were based at King Faisel Hospital and the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali where they had the opportunity to provide surgical education and conclude the workshop with a day-long educational symposium. IVUmed and our Rwandan partners plan to continue pediatric and reconstructive urology education in Kigali. The facility is well-suited for surgical training and includes a faculty that is eager and capable. Dr. Nguyen has already made plans for a follow-up visit in late spring.
“This trip provided me with more experiences than I ever could have expected. I was able to conduct research, help out with a mobile EMR system, assist in the OR, and generally get a much better feel for the needs in East Africa,” mentioned David Miller, MPH candidate and IVUmedvolunteer.
With minimal resources available in Gitwe, Dr. Santucci and fellow IVUmed volunteers were able to assess the need and discuss opportunities for the physicians in Gitwe for continued education.


During their time in Rwanda, the IVUmed volunteers served 24 patients at the two sites. Twenty physicians were able to attend the one-day symposium from the surrounding area.

Surgical need on the international level has dramatically increased, only 3.5% of surgical procedures are performed in the poorest one-third of the world.

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IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.