ANDREW NYAONCHA

"WORKING TO GIVE BACK DIGNITY TO THE AFFLICTED PATIENTS"

Dr. Nyaoncha was fully trained at the Nairoibi WFNS Training Center with scholarship supported by Foundation. Later on he received equipment and instruments also from Foundation.

He is a very hardworking and dedicated young neurosurgeon. Doing a good job at the new site he started in Nyeri (KENYA) helping many patients in that region. 

Dr. Andrew Nyaoncha

I work at Consolata Hospital, Mathari, Nyeri which is a faith-based facility under the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri.

I am the only Neurosurgeon in the region covering a very wide geographical region, and therefore we take care of a very large population of people. For instance this week we performed surgery for a patient from the remote North about 770Km away!

I perform basically every neurosurgical procedure that is required, both cranial and spinal. For instance last Friday I performed an aneurysm clipping, followed by tumour removal. Then Monday 3 spine surgeries and today a spinal decompression. On Friday this week, I will perform two pituitary transnasal surgeries.

I perform about 15 to 20 elective cases a month, or about 250 to 300 cases a year, that is excluding emergency surgeries.

I see about 25 people per outpatient clinic every week and more others in the different smaller centres that I may be required to visit. Every month we review at least 109 to 150 people in the outpatient clinic. Our wards are often full of patients especially from head injury occasioned by assault and the proliferation of motorcycles and related injuries.

I perform many procedures per week compared to most neurosurgeons including in the training centres. The work is physically exhausting and I do get my share of back and neck pain!

But I enjoy the job and I feel we make a big difference to the people and give back dignity to the afflicted patients.

Dr. Andrew Nyaoncha

How do you value the help of the Foundation for Neurosurgery in Africa?

The WFNS Foundation has greatly helped Neurosurgery in Africa.

Personally, I received the WFNS scholarship throughout my neurosurgical fellowship training for 4 years, meaning that without the WFNs support the services offered in our region may not have existed.

Secondly, it is through the WFNs symposium and seminar hosted at our center in December 2019 that we were able to get national recognition and also receive support in equipment including the high-speed drill. we hope to receive more support in the future.

The WFNs foundation has highlighted the cause on many neurosurgeons in Africa and the developing world in general and brought them to the same platform as their peers globally through the great and pioneering efforts of leaders such as Prof Yoko Kato and Prof Dempsey whom I have had the pleasure to meet.

Indeed, by way of training and actual material and equipment support, the WFNS has set the trail ablaze for many to follow.

Instruments donated by the WFNS

How is Neurosurgery in your country?

In my country currently, most Neurosurgery is practiced in the capital city, Nairobi. There are also two other centers in the west (Eldoret) and Coastal area (Mombasa) that are anchored with teaching institutions/universities.

We are the only center that is practicing outside of a major urban area, with the aim being to deliver service to an area of need. Without our services, patients would not be able to access neurosurgical services either due to cost or availability.

Our service is at a Faith-Based institution and is highly subsidized in terms of cost.

Most of the service is on trauma cases (brain and spine), infectious disease (Tb), pediatric conditions. and tumors (both benign and malignant). We are also able to do a fair amount of neurovascular surgery although greatly hampered by lack of proper operating sets and an operating microscope. There is no center performing functional neurosurgery such as for epilepsy, pain, or movement disorders.

Tell us about the needs of your Neurosurgery service

We have made an amazing impact at our center through the services we offer. the main benefit has been to the patients, and also to challenge the narrative that such specialized services can be offered in a rural setting. we have been able to prove this by quality care and good outcomes, however, we are now limited in expanding our scope due to infrastructural and equipment constraints.

We have received national recognition, extended media coverage, and interviews, as well as being able to host the WFNS symposium and live surgery in December 2019.

The main needs for our service are surgical sets (CRANIAL, SPINAL, CUSA) and an OPERATING MICROSCOPE.

If we had this equipment, we would be able to perform most kinds of neurosurgical procedures. The game-changer is an operating microscope that would bring along many advantages and advances, although the sets are direly needed as well. We have already received the high-speed drill from the WFNS foundation and this has improved our services tremendously over the last 2 months.

Dr. Andrew Nyaoncha and one of his team members

Neurosurgycal equipment in surgery room for operation

Do you have many specialized neurosurgeons?

In our country all neurosurgeons are general neurosurgeons, performing a variety of brain and spine procedures. Some surgeons may be more gifted in certain areas such as vascular and endoscopic surgery by virtue of training and experience.

My particular area of interest is vascular surgery.

I perform an average of one open aneurysm clipping every month.

How can the basic set of instruments donated by the WFNS Foundation help you?

The basic sets will help us in conducting our procedures safely and expediently. Because of the lack of proper equipment, we have challenges with exposure to surgical sites such as for complex spine cases and skull base procedures.

Having proper and adequate sets will also increase the rapidity of conducting a case and as well increase the number of cases conducted because currently, the combined set that we use has to be sterilized between operations.