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Training the first paediatric surgeon in Burundi


In his time as a general surgeon in Burundi, Dr Alliance Niyukuri regularly found himself unable to help children with treatable conditions and injuries, many of whom died while on long waiting lists. 

“In my time as a general surgeon in Burundi, every child I treated suffering from gastroschisis died, even though it is a condition which can be easily treated and survived in a proper paediatric set-up.” - shared Dr. Alliance 

Burundi, a low-income country, has a relatively young population with over 6 million children, yet they do not have a single trained paediatric surgeon or any dedicated operating theatre for children in the whole country. But, thanks to our surgical scholarships, Dr. Alliance is undertaking training to become one of his country’s first ever paediatric surgeons

Given the fact that there are no paediatric surgical facilities in Burundi, he had to move to Malawi to train in a KidsOR installed Operating Room: “I am really liking it here. We have great access to equipment and facilities, and the surgeons that are training us are available almost all the time to support us and answer our questions. I have now seen children return to the hospital having made a full recovery from conditions they would almost certainly have died from in Burundi”

One of the operating theatres where Dr. Alliance is training in Malawi

One of the operating theatres where Dr. Alliance is training in Malawi

Our drive to strengthening healthcare systems

At KidsOR we don't only train the next generation of paediatric surgeons in Africa, we also give them the tools and infrastructure to care for their nations children. We are hoping to install a fully equipped and state-of-the-art children’s Operating Room in Burundi in 2023.

A cascading positive effect 

“I look forward to going on to train more and more surgeons in the future to continue this work, KidsOR’s approach is important because the local surgeon will understand better the local healthcare system, the social and cultural set-up of their country and is more likely to stay. I have grown up in Burundi and worked as a general surgeon here and now I will have the opportunity to practice paediatric surgery in my own country.” says Dr Alliance Niyukuri. 

No more Burundian children should have to die of surgically treatable conditions 

Ultimately, this is the future KidsOR hopes to build through this initiative in Burundi: a country where all children have access to the surgical care they require, and where needless deaths are prevented and lives are saved.

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