Educational Visit and Surgical Mission to Myanmar November 2018

In November 2018 our team from the neurosurgical departments of Bern and Lugano visited the University hospitals in Mandalay and Yangon.

 Neurosurgical residents at the University Hospital in Mandalay

Neurosurgical residents at the University Hospital in Mandalay

 International team at work

International team at work

Apart from general neurosurgical lectures and surgical support for the local doctors in Mandalay, this year’s focus was to introduce intraoperative neuromonitoring techniques at the university hospital in Yangon. This technique is essential for patient’s safety and radical tumor removal and was not available in Myanmar yet.

Therefore Dr. med. Kathleen Seidel, neurosurgeon and neurophysiologist from Bern, joined our team this year to train and support local staff. Prior to our visit a neurologist and 2 technicians from Yangon have been attending a 4 month fellowship in Bern to learn intraoperative monitoring techniques.

 Prof. Philippe Schucht (CH) and Prof. Myat Thu (Chairman, Neurosurgical department, University 1, Yangon)

Prof. Philippe Schucht (CH) and Prof. Myat Thu (Chairman, Neurosurgical department, University 1, Yangon)

 Introducing intraoperative neuromonitoring

Introducing intraoperative neuromonitoring

 Theoretical lectures prior to surgery at Neurosurgical department, University 1, Yangon

Theoretical lectures prior to surgery at Neurosurgical department, University 1, Yangon

 Teamwork, Neurosurgical Department, University 1, Yangon

Teamwork, Neurosurgical Department, University 1, Yangon

Intraoperative Neurophysiology in Yangon Neurosurgery.

 IOM Team, Neurosurgical department, Yangon General hospital, University 1

IOM Team, Neurosurgical department, Yangon General hospital, University 1

Another important step was achieved in Yangon University Hospital this year: the first intraoperative neurophysiological monitored (IOM) tumor surgeries were performed! IOM is a complex methodology that increases safety of brain surgery. Although IOM is standard of care in neurosurgical centers of excellency worldwide, many developing neurosurgical units do not have IOM yet due to lack of knowledge, skills and appropriate instruments. In 2017, SNI and the medical faculty of the Medical University of Yangon 1 decided to introduce state-of-the-art IOM to Myanmar, despite the complexity of the task. In a first step, SNI invited and sponsored the neurologist Moe Zaw Myint and two IOM technicians for six months scholarships to the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland to learn the techniques under the supervision of the local IOM head, Kathleen Seidel, and SNI neurosurgeons. Kathleen Seidel and SNI organized the acquisition of appropriate IOM instruments. An SNI team (Philippe Schucht, Janine Abu-Isa, Dominique Kuhlen and Irena Zubak, as well as Kathleen Seidel as the head of this project) went to Yangon to perform the first IOM cases together with the Yangon team. To ensure correct machine settings, material and knowledge the first cases have been supervised and now Yangon IOM is ready to go. Intraoperative Neurophysiology will allow functional guidance and real-time feedback of neurological function, during tumor surgeries in brain and spinal cord in Myanmar. Another milestone reached for improved neurosurgical care in Myanmar!

 First IOM patient in Yangon

First IOM patient in Yangon

New collaboration and exchange program with Kathmandu, Nepal

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We are pleased to announce a future collaboration and exchange with Prof. Sushil K. Shilpakar from the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Starting from December 2017, young Nepalese doctors will have to opportunity to spend a three month fellowship at the neurosurgical department of the University Hospital in Berne in order to acquire valuable knowledge for their patients in Nepal.

Each fellowship will be funded by Swiss Neurosurgeons International.

Thank you for making your donation to support SNI fellowships.
 

Surgical Mission to Myanmar in November 2017

Yet another surgical mission to Yangon and Mandalay is planned for November 2017. Several children and adolescents have been diagnosed with meningoceles in Southern Myanmar and will be brought to Yangon for surgeries paid and performed by SNI surgeons in collaboration with local surgeons. Even though SNI personell works at their own expenses, transportation, nutrition and expandable materials are to be funded for these surgeries:

Donators who are willing to take sponsorship of a child`s surgery at a total cost of 500 Sfr are wanted, and much needed!

1 year Fellowship for young neurosurgeon from Nepal

In autumn of 2015, Jitendra Thakur of Katmandu, Nepal, has started his 1 year Fellowship to the neurosurgical department of the University Hospital in Bern, in order to acquire new insights into modern day neurosurgery, organized and funded by the Swiss Neurosurgeons International. In November 2016, Jitendra Thakur returned to Nepal to improve neurosurgical care in his home country. 

Educational Visit and Surgical Mission to Yangon and Mandalay, 2016

Dominique Kuhlen, spinal neurosurgeon from EOC Lugano, as well as Christa Schwarz and Philippe Schucht from the university hospital in Bern, visited the university hospitals of Yangon and Mandalay for lectures on brain tumor and trauma surgery, followed by training surgeries for brain tumors, AVMs and trauma.

In addition, the surgical team took care of children and young adults who suffered from Meningoceles, a cerebral malformation common in rural areas of South-East Asia. These patients had been brought to our attention by monasteries in the remote areas of the Rhakine State and Shan State. Micro-neurosurgical repair of the Meningoceles was performed by the SNI surgical team. Thanks to its sponsors, SNI was able to cover all costs of transport of patients (and their mother), surgery and postoperative treatment.

Scholarships for surgical experts from Yangon General Hospital in autumn 2016

SNI has granted 5 scholarships to neurosurgery, anaesthesia and nursing staff from Yangon General Hospital in 2016. Dr. Sein Win, senior resident of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Dr. Phuy Phuy, neuro-anaesthesia, as well as Dr. Cho Ye Pe Thein, Mai Khin Khin Lay and Su Myat Thu expanded their knowledge in state-of-the-art neurosurgery and OT Management in the autumn of 2016 as guests of the University Hospital in Bern, Switzerland.

2016 Scholarships for promising young doctors from Mandalay, Myanmar

As a support for the neurosurgical department of Mandalay, Myanmar, the Swiss Neurosurgeons International organized and financed fellowships for two promising young doctors. The University Hospital in Bern welcomes Dr. Thida Hlaing, Myanmars soon-to-become first female neurosurgeon, as well as Dr. Zin Ohnmar Kyaw to support their expertise in neurosurgery and neuroanaesthesia.

Surgical Mission to Myeik, Tanintharyi State, Myanmar in February 2015

 Myeik, Tanintharyi State, Myanmar

Myeik, Tanintharyi State, Myanmar

Members of Swiss Neurosurgeons International will travel to the city of Myeik, Tanintharyi State in Myanmar in February 2015, joined by neurosurgeons from the University of Yangon. The aim of the 3-week-mission is to provide neurosurgical operations on-site, to assess the requirements for future neurosurgical collaboration and to advance neurosurgical care through on-going education.

Surgical Visit to Yangon and Sittwe, Myanmar, November 2014

 Sittwe, Osurg, Burma

Sittwe, Osurg, Burma

 

Members of Swiss Neurosurgeons International visited Sittwe in the Rakhine State in Myanmar in November 2014 together with members of the Interplast foundation, performing surgeries on patients with tumors, hydrocephalus and meningoceles at the district hospital in Sittwe and in more complex cases after transport to Yangon at the Neurosurgical Department of Yangon University. SNI thanks the monks of Sittwe`s Monastery for organisation and providing for patients, and the medical staff of Sittwe general hospital and Professor Myat Thu of the Neurosurgical Department in Yangon for medical support. 

First SNI-Fellowship for a young Burmese Neurosurgeon accomplished

 Dr. Aung Thu Soe Minh with his Swiss colleagues during practical exercises on plastified models

Dr. Aung Thu Soe Minh with his Swiss colleagues during practical exercises on plastified models

 Aung Thu Soe Minh (right), accompanied by the Myanmar anaesthesiologist Dr. Aung Kyi

Aung Thu Soe Minh (right), accompanied by the Myanmar anaesthesiologist Dr. Aung Kyi

As part of our efforts to support neurosurgical eduction in Myanmar, Dr Aung Thu Soe Minh , neurosurgeon in training at the Neurosurgical Department of Yangon University, was invited by SNI to join the neurosurgical Department of the University of Bern, Switzerland for a 3 months period. During his visit in 2014, sponsored by SNI and Professor Andreas Raabe of the local neurosurgical department, he was able get acquainted with standard-of-care neurosurgical procedures and routines. He returned to Yangon in summer 2014 to share his newly acquired knowledge with his local staff, significantly contributing to the further advancement of neurosurgical care in his home country.