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Columbus Dispatch: OhioHealth Doctor Travels To Kenya

Dr. Victor Awuor Performs 23 Surgeries In Home Country

Many have strong ties to your hometown, but not many can claim to have done the things OhioHealth Neurosurgeon Dr. Victor Awuor is doing for his in Kenya. After living the first 17 years of his life there, he learned that the entire country, of about 48 million people, only has 20 neurosurgeons. In his hometown of one million, there are none.

In 2017, Dr. Awuor started talking to other Kenyan-born surgeons in the U.S. and Germany and came up with a plan to bring their expertise to the country they love. This summer, Dr. Awuor traveled to Kenya performing 23 surgeries in just 10 days.

“I think it gives them hope that there are people who are interested in them,” Awuor told JoAnne Viviano of The Columbus Dispatch. “They’re not forgotten.”‚Äč

These patients (adults and children) had traumatic brain injuries, spine trauma, tumors and more. Surgeries were provided free of charge, other than the hospital stay, with a promise to return to help more in the coming months and years ahead. In fact, Dr. Awuor is recruiting other surgeons around the globe to take part, forming a neuroscience initiative called Kisumu Neuroscience Initiative. Many of his family still live there, including his grandmother.

“The patients were elated,” Awuor said to The Columbus Dispatch. “And the staff were, too. At one point, they were wondering if neurosurgery was — they used the word ‘magic,’ because they just hadn’t seen a quick recovery before in patients like this.”

Some of the patients had been waiting years to see a surgeon. And others following the procedure saw rapid improvement.  That included a man who needed a spinal fusion surgery.

“He said he was expecting to die there,” Awuor said to Viviano, “because he was getting weaker and weaker and really couldn’t use his legs.”

Dr. Awuor has vowed to not stop and hopes to see others step up in a big way.

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