Tenwek Hospital, Kenya—Neurosurgery

Tenwek Hospital, located in Bomet, Kenya, has an urgent need for neurosurgeons. The 300-bed referral hospital has a wide range of surgical, medical, maternity, and pediatric services and is one of the largest mission hospitals in Africa. It provides primary health care to 600,000 Kipsigis people within a 32-kilometer radius and serves as a referral center for a much larger region.

Neurosurgery Department: The neurosurgery service at Tenwek consists of a consultant, a full-time neurosurgical clinical officer (equivalent to a physician assistant), and a monthly rotating surgical resident. The inpatient census is usually between 10 and 15 patients. Formal teaching rounds are held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at at 7 a.m. Monday is the main clinic day where 30-40 patients are typically seen, though nearly every day there are additional consults from clinic, casualty (the ER), or other hospital services. There is a smaller scheduled clinic day on Thursdays.

Operations are scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, as well as many Thursdays. Neurosurgery has a dedicated room, and there are two full-time nurses that assist with all cases. There is a variety of modern equipment, including a Stryker electric drill, Zeiss NC4 microscope, Storz flexible endoscope, a multitude of spinal implants, aneurysm clips, and more. The average weekly volume is between six and eight scheduled cases, though there are always some urgent/emergent ones to be added. Approximately one-half of the operative volume is the result of trauma, hydrocephalus, or spina bifida, and the remaining half related to a variety of pathologies, such as benign intracranial tumors, degenerative and infectious spine disorders, and aneurysms.

Technically, the neurosurgical consultant is always on-call, though typically emergent cases overnight will be handled by the surgical residents and reviewed with the consultant the following morning. An electronic medical record and PACS imaging system facilitate patient encounters. On-site imaging includes X-ray, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, and CT, though MRI is also easily obtainable in the region.

Perhaps most meaningful about serving at Tenwek is the chance to teach the residents, all while encouraging them in their desire to provide Christ-like care to their patients. Upon graduating, they take the neurosurgical skills they’ve learned to other parts of the country, thereby multiplying your efforts at Tenwek.

The individual volunteer is responsible for all costs associated with the trip. World Medical Mission personnel will provide assistance in arranging all travel, including international flights and in-country travel as well as any needed medical licensure, visas, or permits.

Families are welcome. A minimum service of two weeks plus travel is required; one month service or longer is preferred.

For more information, please contact Dayna Wright by email or by phone at 828-278-1168.