The French-speaking Society for Pediatric and Antenatal Imaging, SFIPP (click here, scroll down) offers assistance to medically underserved areas as part of its scope of action.
The 2nd course of pediatric Ultrasound for general practitioners was held in Rwamagana, Rwanda, organised by Drs Anne Geoffray and Edith Rivoal, pediatric radiologists in France and members of SFIPP (French society for pediatric and prenatal imaging, WFPI member). 25 general practitioners (GPs) coming from all district hospitals or health centres in Rwanda attended this 4 days course run from 3-6 February 2014. The educational aim: provide these primary health centres' GPs with the basics of pediatric ultrasound so as to diagnose their patients and make timely decisions regarding the transfer of patients to another hospital for further surgical treatment or imaging.
There are only 7 radiologists in Rwanda for a population of 10 million people. All of them work in Kigali and have access to CT and MRI.
Photo: students and teachers, 2nd course of pediatric ultrasound for general physicians, February 2014, Rwamagama, Rwanda
This second course was again both theoretical and practical: theoretical presentations in the morning (normal anatomy, main pathological anomalies, how to reach a diagnosis, etc.), practice on patients from local facilities in the afternoon. Every doctor attending the course was able to conduct practice studies on each day of the four days. The course covered all pathologies, with a main focus on abdominal, and the teaching included transfontanellar for neonatal evaluation. All the participants were actively engaged in the course, raising many questions. A short evaluation was undertaken on the last day.
As was the case last year, we plan to stay in contact and monitor this group so to ascertain the realities of their practice and discuss their difficulties with them. We could consider organising a second-level course in the coming years. For us, the teachers, it was again a busy but rewarding time. The students are enthusiastic and willing to learn, the needs are important. We also learned a great deal through our involvement in this educational initiative.
Anne Geoffray, Edith Rivoal