The Accra Regional Hospital has been able to prevent complete paralysis in a patient by using a neuro navigator to conduct a spinal fusion surgery.

This minimally-invasive procedure involved the insertion of pedicle screws and rods into the spine using the neuro navigator, which acted as a GPS system for the surgeons to find their way around the complicated network of nerves.

A neuro navigator is an advanced system that supports the operator in the accurate stimulation of targeted brain and spine areas via patient-specific MRI images.

On 20th June 2022, the life of a young man changed as he got involved in a car crash at Caprice in Accra leaving him paralyzed.

Twenty-two-year-old Reginald Kujoe, a final year student at Ghana Telecom University, was on the verge of deferring his studies due to his predicament.

He was the only survivor of the crash.

The neuro navigator which was used for the young man’s surgery was procured by the government for the operation of the conjoined twins months ago.

This is the first time a neuro navigator has been used for spinal fusion in the West African sub-region.

The two to three-hour surgery was done by a team of doctors namely; Dr. Samuel Kaba, Dr. Hassan Andani, Dr Mariela Infante and Dr Emmanuel Yao Voado.

According to the consultant neurosurgeon at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital Dr Emmanuel Yaw Voado, the neuro navigator played an essential role in the surgery.

Matthew Yaw Kyeremeh, the representative of the Minister for Health said the government would continue to support efforts to make Ghana a destination for quality healthcare.

“I believe that with these pieces of equipment and the types of job they can do in the hands of health professionals, I think Ghana will become one of the countries around the sub-region or even in Africa,” he said.

“I’ll say apart from maybe South Africa and one or two Northern African countries, Ghana can easily become a hub for medical tourism because obviously, it is not only Ghanaians that go abroad for medical tourism.”

In an interview with JoyNews’ Tasha Michel, Dr. Kaba said the use of neuro navigator for spinal fusion surgery minimizes error.

This is to allay the fears of persons who harbor fears about the effects of such surgery.

“Most of the time, people are afraid of spinal surgery because they think after that you can not walk but with this, the error margin is minimal”, he said.

The neuro navigator is a game changer as, Emmanuel Seyram Doku, business development lead for MEDTRONIC, managers of the system, explains.

“These surgeries require a lot of precision and the neuro navigator that we provided to the hospital with the kind support of the government of Ghana enables the neurosurgeons to have increased spinal accuracy when they are having these surgeries”, he said.