This January, the InterSurgeon team had the pleasure of talking to Dr Jabang in The Gambia. Currently he is the only neurosurgeon in The Gambia and he has had “a very good experience of InterSurgeon” to develop new working collaborations, learn new skills and have a “very big impact on patients”.
A bit of background
Dr Jabang tells us that “I completed residency in 2015 and I worked in The Gambia as a neurosurgeon between mid 2015 to mid 2016. Then I went to Israel to Tel Aviv where I did paediatric neurosurgery and then I came back and continued the neurosurgery from 2019 to today.”
In his hospital, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, monthly they are seeing approximately 200 adult and paediatric outpatients with about 150 emergency patients leading to 30–35 admissions. “In the surgery suite it depends because I am the only neurosurgeon in The Gambia so I have to be in clinic and in the different places. Over the years, I have worked on task shifting and task sharing where I train young people to do some procedures so that they are able to. On average, if I am really functional with my task shifting team and task sharing team, we can do between 15–20 surgeries per month. But if, I am alone and there is no help then that number would be less, it would be between 10–15.”
InterSurgeon in action
Whilst, he is working to expand the number of neurosurgeons in The Gambia, InterSurgeon “has been very helpful. One, it has brought a lot of connections of people I know who we have had a lot of good relationships with. But more importantly recently, I have had 2 visits.”
Collaborations have been successful in many fields, not just neurosurgery. “We had a neurosurgeon retired from the USA and we met and we saw each other and he came to visit me in The Gambia. When we were here together, we did surgeries together and we kept in very good contact. And then, between August 2021-Aug 2023, I was the head of department of surgery. Then I extended my search on InterSurgeon to include not only neurosurgeons but any other field and then I got in touch with this doctor from Switzerland. We had some discussion, and he expressed an interest that he wanted to come to The Gambia so I said okay. He told me what he does, he does laparoscopic surgery and I said that’s fine. That obviously finally materialised this year. So, he came The Gambia and he had 3 weeks here and we had a lot of training in laparoscopic surgery and everybody was very happy and grateful. We hope to build that up.”
These collaborations have had another benefit; “With this case, with the laparoscopic doctor, I mean comparing laparoscopy which is a minimally invasive surgery to open surgery, they were able to do laparoscopic cholecystectomy, they were able to do laparoscopic hernia repair which has a very big impact on the patients.”
He says of InterSurgeon “I can tell you that really was the icing on the cake as far as InterSurgeon is concerned. That was great because there were so many people who had been taught how to use laparoscopic surgery and he was such a very excellent person. That all started because of InterSurgeon. So I think, for me, I had a very good experience of InterSurgeon.”
Using the InterSurgeon platform
In order to make these collaborations, he uses his profile on the InterSurgeon platform; “I go to InterSurgeon and I go to my account. And then I go to the offers and requests. So I just have to sit down and really take my time. Go to see somebody, read their profile, look at what they are offering or what they are requesting. That’s how. Usually when I see somebody and I see their contact I usually send them a message and say hi this is my email, this is my WhatsApp, could you please get to me and they do.”
Future collaborations and uses of the platform
He is planning on more collaborations in the future and using the help lightning technology: “But when I saw it and saw all that it did I thought it would be great, but I have not had the chance to practice and do it. So probably that is one thing that I would look forward to honestly.”
If you have made a collaboration, we would love to speak to you and feature you in a news article for the website. Please get in touch!