Rabat Reference Center for Training Young African Neurosurgeons
The idea of creating a training center for young African neurosurgeons came out of the willingness of the WFNS representatives to contribute to the development of neurosurgery in Africa. Before this idea emerged, a report was written by a team of African neurosurgeons headed by Professor A. El Khamlichi based on a study conducted all over the African continent. The report was presented during the WFNS Administrative Council meeting in Geneva in 1999. The report referred to a severe limitation in the number of neurosurgeons, especially in Sub-saharan Africa where the rate is approximately 1 neurosurgeon to 10 million inhabitants (See appendices). The choice of this center was to abide by the scientific criteria applied to any training center, and should meet two concerns in the short range. The first concern was to provide good training with limited financial resources, and the second one was to train young neurosurgeons in conditions that should be as close as possible to the conditions available in the home countries. In the long run, these trained neurosurgeons will be able to train other young neurosurgeons in order to allow for the progress and development of neurosurgery in their respective countries. The WFNS chose to set up the center in Morocco, because although it is a developing country, it is a country that has made great progress in the development of neurosurgery. This project was supported by Moroccan authorities with the aim to enhance South-South co-operation.
Since 2002, Rabat Reference Center for Training of Young African Neurosurgeons has enabled the training of seven young African neurosurgeons, under the guidance of Professor Abdeslam El Khamlichi and his team. Five of these neurosurgeons have undergone a complete five-year training, and two have undergone short-term training extending from six months to one year. A yearly fellowship of US Dollars 4,200 is granted to each of these trainees by the WFNS Foundation. The amount of this fellowship is transferred every year to the bank account of Hassan II Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of the Nervous System Diseases, which is a public-oriented foundation that was created in 1989 with the aim of helping in the development of neurosurgery in Morocco. Besides the payment of the granted fellowship, this foundation provides financial support as expense coverage to allow for attendance in national and international congresses, visa issuance, as well as support in case of sickness for these African neurosurgeons under training.
In 2005, during the 13th World Congress of Neurological Surgery in Marrakech, a co-operation agreement was signed between Mohammed V University (Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat) on the one hand, and the WFNS (WFNS Foundation for Training Young African Neurosurgeons from Developing Countries), on the other hand. Mohammed V University committed itself as an institution to train these young African neurosurgeons in the same conditions as Moroccan residents, whereas the WFNS Foundation was bound to grant fellowships and to support continuing education for these residents.
African neurosurgeons are selected either after undergoing an examination, or through file examination. For those who have undergone an examination, they will receive a national diploma of specialization after their five-year training, and the others will receive a specialization certificate. All these neurosurgeons have to undergo yearly examinations, and are allocated the same tasks as all residents, meaning patient management at the department and at the emergency unit, and also have to perform surgery as required by their training program. They also need to present scientific papers. The resident who has completed his/her five-year training will have to join his/her home country where other neurosurgeons can be trained and come to the Rabat Reference Center for full training.
Abdeslam El Khamlichi, M.D.
Director of Rabat WFNS Reference Center
The applicant should send all these documents one year before the date when he/she wishes to begin the training to the following address:
Abdeslam El Khamlichi, M.D.
Professor and Head of Department of Neurosurgery
Department of Neurosurgery, Hôpital des Spécialités
CHU Rabat-Salé, P.O. Box: 6444 Rabat-Instituts