Letter to the Editor: COVID-19 & Neurosurgical Training in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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Letter to the Editor: COVID-19 & Neurosurgical Training in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication date – Sep – 2020
Authors – Ulrick Sidney Kanmounye, Adam Ammar, Ignatius Esene, Abdessamad El Ouahabi, and Kee Park
Keywordscovid-19, training
Open access – Yes
SpecialityNeurosurgery, Surgical Education
World region Global

Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on November 5, 2020 at 8:55 am
Abstract:

On June 11, 2020, the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS)’ Global Neurosurgery Committee (GNC) and Young Neurosurgeons Forum (YNF) discussed the effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). During this event, the leadership of the WFNS and stakeholders of global neurosurgery identified challenges and proposed solutions to the issues faced by trainees during the pandemic. We recount the problems and action items that were identified during the meeting.

Each year, 23 million patients develop neurosurgical conditions, and 78% of them live in LMICs.1 LMICs have <56% of the specialist neurosurgical workforce and require an additional 23,300 neurosurgeons to meet local neurosurgical demands.1 , 2 Few LMICs have sufficient capacity to make up for the local workforce deficit; thus, neurosurgeons from all over the world are working to find sustainable solutions.3 This movement has given birth to the field of global neurosurgery—”an area for study, research, practice, and advocacy that places a priority on improving health outcomes and achieving health equity for all people worldwide who are affected by neurosurgical conditions or need neurosurgical care.”4 To coordinate the efforts of global neurosurgeons, the WFNS has created an ad-hoc committee: the WFNS GNC.5

In addition to the difficulties already faced in providing neurosurgical care in LMICs, the current COVID-19 pandemic has further strained healthcare resources, especially for those in low-resource settings.6 To understand the effects of the pandemic on training and propose solutions to the issues identified, the WFNS GNC and the WFNS YNF co-hosted a webinar. The webinar was held on June 11, 2020, and titled “COVID-19 & Neurosurgical Training in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The Global Neurosurgery Perspective.”

OSI Number – 20715

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