Evaluating the Feasibility and Outcomes of a Scoliosis Surgical Camp in a Resource-Limited Setting in Sub-Saharan Africa

François Waterkeyn, Chibuikem A. Ikwuegbuenyi, Julie Woodfield, Fabian Sommer, Juma Magogo, Beverly Cheserem, Alexander J. Schupper, Hamisi K. Shabani, Ibrahim Hussain, Alaaeldin Azmi Ahmad, Massimo Balsano, Halinder Mangat, Roger Härtl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, the estimated prevalence of scoliosis ranges from 3.3% to 5.5%. The management of these deformities is restricted due to lack of infrastructure and access to deformity spine surgeons. Utilizing surgical camps has been demonstrated to be efficient in transferring skills to low-resource environments; however, this has not been documented concerning deformity surgery. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study. The scoliosis camp was held at a major referral spine center in East Africa. We documented information about the organization of the course. We also collected clinical and demographic patient data. Finally, we assessed the knowledge and confidence among surgeon participants on the management scoliosis. Results: The camp lasted 5 days and consisted of lectures and case discussions, followed by casting and surgical sessions. Five patients were operated during the camp. All the patients in the study were diagnosed with AIS, except one with a congenital deformity. The primary curve in the spine was in the thoracic region for all patients. Six months postoperative Scoliosis Research Society-22R Scoring System (SRS-22R) score ranged from 3.3–4.5/5. 87.5% of the participants found the course content satisfactory. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time an African scoliosis camp has been established. The study highlights the difficulty of conducting such a course and illustrates the feasibility of executing these complex surgeries in a resource-limited environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e550-e559
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • LMIC
  • Scoliosis
  • Surgical camp
  • Tanzania


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