Dr. Alvin Nah Doe, a Liberian Neurosurgeon, and a team of local doctors, nurses and nurse-anesthetists have carried out the first brain tumor removal surgery with all Liberian team.
A 65-year-old Liberian male diagnosed with left parietal brain tumor had his tumor successfully removed in a five –hour operation by neurosurgeon Dr. Alvin Nah Doe and his team of local staffs at John F Kennedy Medical Center. This is the hospital’s first-ever brain tumor surgery with all Liberian team. The tumor was confirmed by histology. The patient presented with complaints of persistent headache with associated seizures and right-sided body weakness. After the surgical intervention, the patient recovered remarkably. The patient has been discharged after 9 days of postoperative care and is been followed closely in the neurosurgical outpatient clinic in John F. Kennedy Medical Center.
The surgery is indeed groundbreaking despite the lack of qualified anesthesiologists, trained neuro-nurses, intensive care unit and equipment at the hospital. With the scarcity of resources, most of the patients who need neurosurgical intervention are often referred out of Liberia for equipped centers in Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and India.
The Neurosurgical Unit of JFK has the potential to manage and treat diseases of the brain and spinal cord if it is given all of the much-needed equipment and instruments as well as the training of staff. Not only will we save many lives but it will also reduce the economic burden for those who can afford to seek neurosurgical care out of Liberia.
The World Health Organization recommends a ratio of one neurosurgeon to every 100,000 people in a country. Liberia has only one neurosurgeon.