Coordinated efforts are underway to improve the state of urology in Sub-Saharan Africa with three international urological associations pooling their resources together to support urological education and training in the region.Called the Global Philantrophic Project (GPP), the Societe Internationale d`Urologie (SIU), American Urological Association (AUA) and the European Association of Urology (EAU) have linked up with the Pan-African Urological Surgeons’ Association (PAUSA), the lead organisation in coordinating the GPP.
Dr. Sergine Gueye (Senegal) recently spoke during the 26th Annual EAU Congress in Vienna, Austria, about the urgent need for urological expertise in the region. Gueye said the project has been originally conceived in 2009, but it has only been in the last year that networking and coordination efforts were further refined to identify the key projects.
The aim, based on the most recent plans, is to train local urologists in either Ibadan (Nigeria) or Dakar (Senegal) which were proposed as training centres. PAUSA has already been seeking for funding in previous years for these centres, which are considered, by far, as the largest urology units in Francophone and Anglophone West Africa.
Both centres are staffed with a well-trained faculty who have expertise in several of the urological sub-specialities. Moreover, the two centres have a fair amount of basic urological equipment for service and limited training. Implementing the training programme will be done gradually, expanding both in terms of coverage and resources as it goes along, the GPP said.
From the last GPP meeting held in Vienna, the GPP members underscored that the project needs to be implemented soon considering the urgent need for expert urological care in the region. One of the areas to be tackled in the initial training programme will be endoscopic surgery as it has been noted that many local doctors, for example, lack the practical experience of TURP. Current practices still involved open surgery, according to Gueye, as he added that other key areas include reconstructive and female urology, particularly modern treatment options for fistula.
The leaders of all three societies have expressed enthusiastic support for the project. A more in-depth assessment of the gaps in training and education, however, will have to be done to efficiently address the region’s urological and healthcare needs and provide durable solutions.
In support of these goals, a survey regarding the interests, availability and views of SIU, AUA and EAU members, regarding philanthropic activities, is being completed and will soon be circulated.