Pilot Trip

November 2013

In November 2013 Drs Ben Michael and Sam Nightingale undertook a pilot visit to Zambia where they completed two weeks of clinical neurology teaching at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

They saw that the burden of Encephalitis and other neurological disease was enormous in this setting, and learnt that the greatest need for teaching is for the junior doctors in General Medicine (Internal Medicine Residents).

In the majority of cases they had not received clinical teaching from someone with a special interest in neurology before.

At medical school the neurology teaching was provided by general medics and there was no postgraduate neurology teaching. Many of the Internal Medics found that they now had to provide the undergraduate teaching, having received inadequate teaching on this subject themselves.

NeuroAccess 2013

During the 2 weeks Ben and Sam taught the following groups:

• Undergraduate medical students / Year 5 – 5 sessions / Year 6 – 4 sessions / Year 7 – 6 sessions / Interna lmedicine residents–6 sessions / Psychiatry residents–3 sessions? / Psychiatry specialist nurses–3 sessions / Clinical Officers (a sub-doctor grade responsible for much of the medical care delivery in Zambia). – 2 sessions

In addition they gave a Grand Rounds presentation on Encephalitis at a District Hospital and attended neurology clinics and ward rounds, with a focus on cases of neurological infection.

In all they taught over 300 students, doctors and clinical officers. The teaching was very well received. Feedback from doctors and students was unanimously positive. Most found the bedside teaching particularly helpful.

With Ben and Sam we aim to expand this project during 2014. We hope to visit two further countries in sub-saharan Africa – Malawi and Mozambique - raising awareness, delivering education, and ultimately saving the lives of people affected by Encephalitis and other neuro-infectious conditions. We will also aim to provide Neuro-Kits, which are essential for the neurological examination.

*NeuroAccess is a project supported by The Encephalitis Society and run by Drs Benedict Michael and Sam Nightingale which aims to improve the care of patients with Encephalitis and other neurological problems in sub-Saharan Africa through improving education in clinical neurology. The project is funded by courses in neurology for UK undergraduate and postgraduate medics, and by grants from The Encephalitis Society and the Association of British Neurologists.