Global Neurosurgery

Education, Training and Capacity Building

Mobile ETV/CPC Training Program
This program is conducted in conjunction with NeuroKids, a non-profit organization which Dr. Dewan cofounded. This initiative uses virtual presence technology to train neurosurgeons in advanced techniques for the treatment children with hydrocephalus.

Research Mentorship for neurosurgeons in LMIC

- Guidance for study design, statistical support, and manuscript publication

- Partners include neurosurgeons in Bangladesh and Ethiopia

Neurosurgical Missions

Neurologic diseases are among the most disabling and burdensome conditions affecting low-resourced populations. However, the infrastructure and human resources available to address this growing entity in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are inadequate. Vanderbilt surgical team embarks on medical missions to provide clinical support to partners in LMICs.


Each January, members of the Vanderbilt Neurosurgery Department travel to Lima, Peru to perform craniofacial operations, in conjunction with pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeons and pediatric anesthesiologists from other US institutions.  The mission is organized by KomedyPlast, who has completed over 15 years of collaboration with Peruvian plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, dental surgeons, and neurosurgeons, to further educate, collaborate on research, and to perform complex craniofacial operations for their children.  Many Vanderbilt neurosurgery residents have also joined trips, greatly enhancing their pediatric neurosurgery experience, largely focusing on craniofacial conditions, such as complex craniosynostosis, as well as congenital and trauma reconstruction.

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The Vanderbilt Global Neurosurgery Program has also collaborated with providers in Tanzania and Zanzibar for many years. The group has traveled throughout Tanzania to various hospitals, collaborating with local providers, providing educational training, discussing research initiatives and clinical protocols, and assisting in the treatment of patients with neurosurgical conditions.  These conditions range from cranial and spine traumatic injuries, pediatric conditions (hydrocephalus, mild meningocele, encephalocele), adult degenerative spinal conditions, and both cranial and spine oncology. We maintain contact with providers in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza on the Tanzania mainland, and on the island of Zanzibar, allowing continuity of care, further educational exchanges, and discussion regarding patient treatment and follow-up. Attending neurosurgeons (with cranial, spine, and pediatric expertise), nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and neurosurgery residents have all been part of these trips.

Furthermore, members of the Vanderbilt Department of Neurosurgery, have been invited to serve as faculty on the annual Weill-Cornell Tanzania Neurosurgery Program Hands-on East Africa Course, providing lectures, as well as surgical demonstrations for the course.  This has also led to further research collaboration and expanding the network of neurosurgery education and Tanzania.

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The Uganda mission is a 1 or 2 week experience.  Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Bonfield and Nurse Practitioner Haley Vance have visited various hospitals in the past to perform myelomeningocele and encephalocele closures, hydrocephalus treatment, and cranial and spine trauma. 

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