OBJECTIVE: Lack of standard neurosurgical training has long been a major factor limiting the availability of neurosurgical services in most parts of Africa. International collaborative efforts have however, to a large extent, resolved this challenge.
METHODS: A review of previous international collaborative programs and educational initiatives in Africa along with their outcomes and accomplishments was conducted. We make a few recommendations on how these programs could be further improved upon toward more productivity and better output with the few available facilities in Africa.
RESULTS: Various international collaborative programs focusing on neurosurgery education and training currently exist in East Africa with well-documented advancements in achieving their goals and especially include Neurosurgery Education and Development Foundation, the Weill Cornell Tanzania Neurosurgery project, Duke East Africa Neurosurgery Program, Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neurosciences, and CURE Hydrocephalus Program. In West Africa, they include the Swedish African Neurosurgical Collaboration and the Association of West African Neurosurgeons.
CONCLUSIONS: So far, collaborative neurosurgical education and training has been an effective approach in efficiently and progressively increasing capacity in Africa. To further improve the quality of neurosurgical care in Africa in the face of difficult economic circumstances and significant neurosurgical disease burden, implementation of the suggested recommendations will enhance the capacity and sustainability of these existing programs with the few available facilities and equipment and would go a long way in further reducing the burden in Africa.
Keywords: Collaboration East Africa Neurosurgical education Training West Africa