International Neurosurgery: The Role for Collaboration

Int J Med Pharm Res. 2023;4(1):15-24. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.7500584.


The global death toll from lack of access to basic surgical care is three times as much as for tuberculosis, HIV and malaria combined. Patients dying of curable neurosurgical conditions solely because of inadequacy or absence of neurosurgical infrastructure is an issue deserving immediate attention and action. Global neurosurgery is an important step forward in this regard, under which different models of collaboration between HICs and LMICs aim to increase both the number of neurosurgeons as well the quality of neurosurgical care available in these countries through arranging surgical camps, providing neurosurgical training and education, and restructuring the health system in these countries in order to create an environment conducive to the provision of the highest form of neurosurgical care. Despite the many challenges faced by LMICs in furthering neurosurgery programs such as poor resource allocation, brain drain, turbulent socioeconomic conditions, limited training facilities, and population explosion, data now being reported from LMICs the world over, exemplifies the immense positive impact that collaborations have had over the last few decades in improving neurosurgical capacity and infrastructure. So far, conventional methods of collaboration (i.e. neurosurgical missions to LMICs and training of neurosurgeons in HICs) have been effective in progressively bringing about the desired change in LMICs. However, these methods have been limited by a finite funding, pushing the global neurosurgical community to look for alternatives such as online curricula, task shifting and sharing, and long distance mentor-mentee relationships. In this review, we aim to provide an update on the current state of neurosurgical collaborations and identify the barriers in the way of collaborations and what alternative models of collaboration might be used to overcome them..

Keywords: Collaboration; Global neurosurgery; Global surgery; Lower middle-income countries; Neurosurgery; Neurosurgical collaboration.