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CHUK-At the Cornerstone of Laparoscopy for Better And Rapid Treatment

Ongoing Five Years Minimally Invasive Surgery

The University Teaching Hospital of Kigali CHUK takes the lead of Promoting Africans’ knowledge and skills in Minimally Invasive Surgery and Biotechnology through adequate and crosscutting investment initiatives at joint Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) and the 3rd Rwanda Biotechnology Conference under the theme stated as “Transforming Rwanda’s Development by Investing in People’s Skills” hosted by the University of Rwanda UR.
Since 2017, more efforts have been going on aiming at strengthening minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in Rwanda: Ten selected Rwanda physicians including general surgeons, gynecologists and urologists from CHUK, King Faisal Hospital (KFH) and CHUB, have started the Training of Trainers (ToT) program at CHUK. In Parallel, paramedical experts from the hospital of the physicians are being trained to fit the MIS standard.

The Training of Trainers (ToT) program is a 5-year project, which was initially rolled out at CHUK.
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is continuing to evolve worldwide, as both technical advances and the skills of surgeons are becoming more sophisticated. In comparison to traditional open surgery, often requiring the patient to incur invasive large incisions, MIS procedures allows doctors to insert a camera through a small incision, or sometimes no incision at all. The camera then enables the doctor to guide surgical instruments inserted into the body with the aid of a video on screen. While traditional surgical methods often require longer recovery periods, MIS draws several benefits to the patient including increased safety, fewer infections, reduction in the loss of blood, and shorter hospital stays.

ARES-PFS2018, a training project supported by the Belgium government, has afforded the University of Rwanda the opportunity to offer professional trainings, including a postgraduate Diploma in Minimally Invasive Surgery. To successfully implement this program, MIS platforms were as well set out in university teaching hospitals to treat Rwanda patients as well as training candidates to MIS. A curriculum to train future MIS Trainers was developed and the implementation has been going on since January 2019.
In partnership with Medtronic in Belgium, a worldwide medical device company, the laboratory was built to house a simulation lab and a wet lab. The lab serves as a site in which students and residents can gain skills and train on nonhuman models such as pigs, prior to moving to the clinical training phase to perform laparoscopic surgery on patients.
MIS was first introduced at CHUK in 2015. At the time, only two doctors in the hospital were able to perform the laparoscopic surgical technique, and there was no formal training in place to develop the technical skills for additional doctors. MIS is now becoming a common practice in eligible procedures, and the number of cases performed in the first 8 months of the training program has increased compared to previous years.

“We are building the capacity for minimally invasive surgery with this 5-year project, and CHUK will become a center of excellence for training young doctors in laparoscopic surgery. When doctors finish their curriculum, they need the skills to be able to perform laparoscopic surgery. It’s not only important in developing and advancing this technology, but it also gives young specialists the full package to be able to perform various surgical techniques,”
Dr. Theobald Hategekimana, Director General of CHUK, said.
Designed to enhance the capabilities of surgeons and to advance minimally invasive procedures, surgeons will now be able to perform various kinds of urological, gynecological, abdominal, general, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), and arthroscopic surgeries. From January 2015 to August 2019, there has been a total of 303 MIS cases performed at CHUK. The most common cases being general surgery at 89.44%, followed by urological procedures at 5.28%. On the other hand, Biotechnology conference is held biennially in Rwanda and is sponsored through collaboration of the University of Rwanda and ARES-CCD (Academy of Research and High Learning, “Académie de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur), Belgium, through its institutional support (Appui institutionnel, AI) program.

Edited By Pascal Mbuguje PRO CHUK