EAU New Year Resolutions: Good will and the development of urology in Africa

Thu, 2 Jan 2014

Prof. Chris Chapple (EAU IRO Chairman): “IRO and the EAU African Outreach project” The EAU African Outreach project has been established as an important initiative of the Global Philanthropic Programme which was initiated at the time by Bob Flannigan, Past Secretary of the AUA, working in close collaboration with Per-Anders Abrahamsson, Secretary General of the EAU, and Luc Valiquette, President of the SIU, working on behalf of their Executive Boards.

After an initial successful pilot programme conducted in collaboration with Serigne Gueye, Past President of PAUSA, and Emiola Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa, President Elect of PAUSA, this programme is now well established. It is an initiative which emphasises the importance and feasibility of intersociety collaboration at an international level.

The EAU African Outreach project is a vital component of this programme, which is strongly supported by Olympus. The ethos of the programme is to aid and facilitate the training and promulgation of urological practice and expertise to colleagues in Africa.

Initial support for this programme from the GPC committee is for the paediatric training symposium being organised at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) on the subject of paediatric urology. This will be reviewed by Magnus Grabe in a future edition of EUT.

The EAU is honoured to be involved in this important programme. Please contact the EAU International Relations Office (IRO) if you feel you can help or have any questions or comments: c.chapple@uroweb.org.

Prof. James N'Dow (Aberdeen, UK): “A social enterprise model of financially self-sustainable healthcare provision”

Horizons is a social enterprise model of financially self-sustainable healthcare provision in low income country settings. The Horizons initiative is being piloted on a small scale in the first instance (Gambia’s 1.8 million population), with the plan of scaling up in other Sub-Saharan countries.

The Horizons model is a departure from long-term charity as the mainstay of healthcare funding in Sub-Saharan Africa; instead the Horizons model is underpinned by a principle of entrepreneurial philanthropy bringing together 4 key partnerships (international philanthropic world, international commercial sector, local business community, and committed global implementation partners).

Horizons will use money raised from fee-paying users of an international standard hospital facility (an unmet need in the Gambia and the West African sub-region) to provide high-quality care to the poorest who cannot afford basic healthcare, prioritising the most vulnerable in the first phase (all pregnant women and infants under 2 years old).

Effectively, Horizons attempts to achieve wealth redistribution through healthcare. Horizons will therefore deliver wide-ranging charitable activities aimed at achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5 (a focus on maternal health and health of infants), training & capacity building, and increasing access to good quality healthcare.

Horizons is committed to reduction of maternal and infant mortality, eradication of fistulae by effective prevention through better maternal health programmes, and empowerment of women through better health education; committed to strengthening health systems through health professional training and capacity building and increasing the number and quality of outreach services for the poorest through the Horizons Charitable Foundation; committed to the goal of access to high-quality, affordable subsidized healthcare for all, with the poorest and most vulnerable receiving free healthcare.

Training and capacity building is a major part of what Horizons is being established to do and the training of urological surgeons in the West African sub-region is an important strand. Horizons has already established excellent partnerships with other specialist organisations. For example, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in partnership with Horizons, will run the first regional training course in Gastroenterology in The Gambia in January 2014 for health professionals from the ECOWAS nations in West Africa.

The Horizons model ensures that when such training programmes are established, they are done with the understanding that they will be self-sustainable in the long-term and not dependent on charitable donations. It is in this arena that the EAU can be a real global player by working with Horizons and other partners to establish a world-class urology training programme for health professionals living and working in West Africa.