Neurosurgeons in the country are warning the number of brain and spinal injuries that are increasing as a result of motor accidents lately will lead to many deaths in Ghana if there is no effort to increase the number of neurosurgeons in the country.
Currently, there are only 20 neurosurgeons in the country, a situation the specialists describe as dangerous considering the number of brain and spinal disorders that are recorded on a daily basis.
At the first congress of the Association at Elmina, the association warned that many people might die due to brain and spinal injuries if government does not intervene to increase their numbers and also equip the hospitals.
Ghana has only 20 specialists in the medical field of neurosurgery. That puts the ratio of neurosurgeons in the country to 1 is to 1. 5 million Ghanaians. The situation, according to the neurosurgeons puts enormous stress on those in practice considering the increasing cases of brain and spinal injuries recorded as a result of road crashes.
At the first congress of the Association at Elmina, consultant Neurosurgeon at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Dr. Kwasi Agyen Mensah, indicated there is an urgent need to get as many neurosurgeons in the country as possible to reduce the rate of spinal and brain-related deaths.
“There is the dire need to train more to add up to the pool to improve the services of neurosurgery in the country. Previously, people thought brain and spine surgeries were non-existent in Ghana but now the rate of motor vehicle accidents and the outcomes are enormous. Many people are dying.”
“Traumatic brain injuries accounts for most of the deaths because there are non-existent services anywhere in the country,” he said.
The average number of years to become a specialist in this field is eight years after becoming a medical doctor but at the end of the congress, the Association stated the curriculum used in training neurosurgeons was undergoing changes that might ultimately reduce the length of time taken to train them.
“Our desire is to train many neurosurgeons and to get at least two neurosurgeons in each region of the country. We’ve drawn a new curriculum to enhance the training. We are also encouraging young doctors to go into neurosurgery,” he averred.
Dr. Agyen Mensah argued many doctors shy away from neurosurgery because it takes a longer time to become a neurosurgeon and also because neurosurgeons in Ghana are treated like any other medical doctor in the country.
The neuroscientists want government to help construct a national centre of neurosurgery that will help them deal and resolve complex brain and spinal disorders that occur in the country.
The congress brought together neuro scientists across the world to exchange ideas in the field of neurosurgery where the expectation is that the varied rich experiences of their colleagues would be shared.