This initiative, carried out in the framework of the Chair for Distance Learning awarded by the UNESCO in compliance with one of its missions for dissemination and sharing of knowledge concerns, in its first phase, 4 Centers: Casablanca (Morocco) – Sousse (Tunisia) – Yaounde (Cameroon) – Dakar (Senegal).
These pre-chosen Centers benefited from special training sessions devoted to initiation and advanced courses in laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy.
Each mission comprises two stages:
● First, a 6 day training course in France (University Hospital of Montpellier, Prof. FABRE) and in Monaco (Princess Grace Hospital, Prof. RAMPAL, Prof. DUMAS), during which 3 to 4 members of each African team (1-2 laparoscopic surgeons, a nurse, an anaesthesiologist and a gastroenterologist) are integrated in the clinical and educational activities of these Departments for a course in laparoscopic surgery and interventional endoscopy.
The most up to date techniques in anaesthesia-intensive care are also reviewed in the framework of these missions.
At the end of each training program, educational material (DVD containing the acts carried out during the week) are given to the trainees.
● Secondly, the teams having hosted this first mission go to the Centers in Africa to assist in the application of the techniques.
● The International Cooperation in Monaco gave its agreement to take part in the organization of certain missions.
● The first stage of a mission from Cameroon was organized June, 1-5, 2010 by Prof. NOCCA (Montpellier) and the ICYLS (International Club for Young Laparoscopic Surgeons), made up of a team from Yaounde, Cameroon, composed of Professor NANA BLONDEL, OUMAROU DJAM and Dr DIBERG, surgeons, along with the Head of the Department of Gastroenterology, Professor SINO DZUMGANG.
The educational quality of the training program of this first exchange in the fields of laparoscopic surgery and interventional endoscopy are highly emphasized by the participants.
● Since then, the program has been consolidated in association with the Department of International Cooperation / Foreign Affairs in Monaco for a one week training period of 2 endoscopists at the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace (Dr Remi DUMAS): one from Casablanca, Morocco (Dr Fouad HADDAD), and one from Yaoundé, Cameroon (Dr Dyane SIMO-KAMTO).
● The efficacy of these missions is shown by the further organization of a special training program in Yaoundé, the only one in Cameroon, launched (2011) for 2 surgeons, 2 nurses, and one Resident: to date, two hundred procedures have already been performed, with obvious improvement of the post-operative course and quality of life.In addition, due to the restricted availability of having CT scans in this country, laparoscopic surgery can be considered as a help for diagnosis in diverse circumstances, and thus now has a role in the field of Health Economics.
● Expansion of laparoscopic surgery in other countries of Africa with connections to other centers is now planned. Dr Roger Tatum (Seattle) is involved in such a cooperation, as would other US surgeons, who would be eager to be part of such missions in these countries.
● The beneficial role of GI endoscopy for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of many digestive diseases and cancer is well established, as well as for the exploration and dilation of caustic stenoses very frequent in young children following ingestion of caustic liquids (caustic soda) in countries where no surgeon can perform esophageal surgery.