Building Sustainable Neurosurgical Systems in Developing Countries (2022-2023)

Neurosurgical systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are plagued by inadequate specialist and ancillary workforce, training, resources, technology and data. This translates to low clinical coverage, research output and training opportunities.

For example, in Nigeria there is only one neurosurgeon per 1.9 million people. Uganda’s ratio is worse with only one neurosurgeon per 3.8 million people. Such deficiencies in neurosurgical workforce and training compound inequities in the distribution, availability and affordability of neurosurgical services.

This project team worked in two country-specific subteams to assess how existing neurosurgical systems in Uganda and Nigeria compare to global standards. Team members explored various aspects of these nations’ neurosurgical systems, emphasizing personal experiences in underserved environments. They conducted location-specific literature reviews and research on various neurosurgical system components based on the WHO health system building blocks framework. 

The subteams then joined to evaluate their research findings for similarities, differences, challenges and adaptations within the neurosurgical systems. They then created a plan for subsequent research with patients and providers in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal and Zimbabwe to better understand the presence, extent and impact of barriers to neurosurgical service delivery.


Fall 2022 – Summer 2023

Team Outputs

Barriers to Neurosurgical Care in Nigeria and Uganda (2023 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Building Sustainable Neurosurgical Systems in Developing Countries (poster by Morayo Abbey-Bada, Glory Agun, Lordstrong Akano, Joy Buchi-Ahiabuike, Nikhil Chaudhry, Eugene Cho, Rishi Chilappa, Olaoluwa Dada, Larrey Kamabu, Alice Kateregga, Olalekan Kolawole, Rose Nantambi, Paula Njeru, Arsene Daniel Nyalundja, Ena Oboh, Samuel Olawale, Glory Olowojoba, Yesel Trillo Ordonez, Taye Owoputi, Zoey Petitt, Heather Raslan, Katherine Reddy, Isha Shah, Joseph Mary Ssembatya and Keying Sun, presented at Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 19, 2023)

National Neurosurgical Strategic Development Plans for Nigeria and Uganda 

This Team in the News

Meet the Members of the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council

Meet the Winners of the 2023 Bass Connections Student Research Awards

Going Big: A Cross-Continental Global Health Project Aims for Systemic Change

See related team, Building Sustainable Neurosurgical Systems in Developing Countries (2023-2024).


Image: Aerial view of Ibadan city in Nigeria, by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Nigerian city.

Team Leaders

  • Timothy Dunn, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
  • Anthony Fuller, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
  • Alvan-Emeka Ukachukwu, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery

/graduate Team Members

  • Paula Njeru, Global Health - MSc
  • Zoey Petitt, Global Health - MSc
  • Ena Oboh, Biomedical Sciences

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Eugene Cho, Biology (BS)
  • Glory Olowojoba, Biology (BS)
  • Heather Raslan, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Katherine Reddy, Psychology (BS)
  • Isha Shah, Program II (BS)
  • Rishit Chilappa, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Nikhil Chaudhry, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Chioma Buchi-Ahiabuike, Biology (BS)
  • Morayoninuoluwa Abbey-Bada, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Glory Agun, DKU Interdisciplinary Studies (BS)
  • Keying Sun, Biology (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Jeffrey Moe, Fuqua School of Business
  • Michael Haglund, Duke Global Health Institute|School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
  • Tamara Fitzgerald, School of Medicine-Surgery: Pediatric General Surgery
  • Osondu Ogbuoji, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Kearsley Stewart, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Yesel Trillo-Ordonez, Duke Global Health Institute

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Samuel Olawale
  • Taye Owoputi, University of Ibadan College of Medicine
  • Temitayo Shokunbi, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Joseph Mary Ssembatya, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital
  • Arsene Nyalundja, Université Catholique de Bukavu
  • Larrey Kamabu, Makerere University
  • The Ugandan Ministry of Health
  • Amos Adeleye, University of Ibadan College of Medicine
  • Augustine Adeolu, University of Ibadan College of Medicine
  • Lordstrong Akano, University of Ibadan College of Medicine
  • Oluwakemi Badejo, University of Ibadan College of Medicine
  • The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN)
  • The Nigerian Ministry of Health
  • West African College of Surgeons (WACS)
  • Nigerian Academy of Neurological Surgeons (NANS)
  • Rose Nantambi, Makerere University
  • The College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA)
  • The Neurosurgical Society of Uganda
  • Olaoluwa Dada, University of Ibadan College of Medicine
  • Ignatius Esene, University of Bamenda, Cameroon
  • Alice Kateregga, Makerere University
  • Joel Kiryabwire, Mulago Hospital
  • Olalekan Kolawole, University of Ibadan