Introduction to CURE Hydrocephalus Surgeon Training Program (formerly known as iPATH)
With the aim to eliminate untreated hydrocephalus and its preventable causes, the CH Surgeon Training Program was set up as a partnership between IF, CURE International and the Karl Storz Company (Storz).
It is designed to utilize the expertise derived from continuing research from the efforts at CURE International Children’s Hospital of Uganda (CURE Uganda) and its sister facilities, including CURE Zambia.
The program trains and equips surgeons responsible for treating Hydrocephalus in developing countries.
In that practice context, shunt-dependence is more dangerous for children with Hydrocephalus because of the high probability of shunt malfunctions that require urgent attention and emergency treatment. Unlike more developed countries where the existing economy, infrastructure, and health care system can more readily support the emergency maintenance required for patients who are shunt-dependent, the lives of such children in less developed countries are threatened because of the lack of prompt access to proper neurosurgical care.
Since its opening in 2000, the CURE Uganda hospital in Mbale, Uganda, has demonstrated that, in the setting of an emerging country, more than half of all children with hydrocephalus can be adequately treated using endoscopic methods, and the likelihood of success can be determined in advance. In young infants, our experience was similar to that of others, in that ETV alone was not effective in avoiding shunt dependency for the majority. But we demonstrated that choroid plexus cauterization in combination with endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV/CPC) was significantly more effective than ETV alone. The ETV/CPC technique requires the use of a flexible fiberoptic endoscope in order to access the choroid plexus throughout both lateral ventricles.
The CURE International facilities in Uganda and Zambia (and soon elsewhere) provide the high volume of patients necessary to master these techniques in a relatively short time. In two or three months, a trainee can expect hands-on training in 50 to 100 ETV/CPC procedures. Serving as Sr. Medical Director for CH, Professor Dr. Benjamin C. Warf directs the training and research efforts. Dr. Warf developed the ETV/CPC technique and the methodology for its most effective use while serving as medical director for CURE Uganda for over six years. For surgeons from less developed countries, CURE International, IF and Storz will work with the trainee to acquire funding to help support their training as well as to help provide the necessary endoscopy equipment for their home institution.
The goal of the CH Surgeon Training Program is to develop a network of surgeons and hospitals throughout the world that are competent to offer this treatment option and thus avoid as much as possible the dangerous problem of shunt-dependence, especially for children in economically depressed regions. As part of this effort, each CH trained surgeon participates in supplying information to the CH database in order to expand the body of knowledge to improve on our ability to treat and prevent this common condition.
How to apply
Surgeons interested in the CH Surgeon Training Program can find the application documents on: http://cure.org/hydrocephalus/#for-hydro-doctors