AAN-WFN Continuum Education Program in Kenya

2019 series of educational lectures by the Neurological Society of Kenya, following the topics covered by Continuum.

Regional impact and backbone for the new fellowship in neurology.

By Dilraj Singh Sokhi

There are less than 20 neurologists in Kenya, yet this number is significantly more than neighboring countries, and enough to comprise a national professional organization. The Neurological Society of Kenya reinvigorated its education and advocacy mission in 2019 by launching the first series of educational lectures for the neurologist and general physician practicing in the region. But questions arose about which topics to cover, in what order, and how to ensure up-to-date information was being disseminated. The most appropriate solution that addressed these concerns was to refer to the Continuum series, delivered to us from the AAN-WFN Education Program, and follow the topics contemporaneously. And so, we had talks delivered by regional and international experts on dementia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, headache, and neuromuscular disease. The respective copies of the journal were also shared with attendees during each event.

Friday afternoon academic sessions with the new fellows.

The resulting bolstered regional collegiality from this lecture series seeded two ideas. The first idea was to launch a postgraduate fellowship in neurology in East Africa. Designing the first such program in the region from scratch was ripe with opportunities to combine best practices from different parts of the world, given our founding fellowship committee members included graduates from Europe, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and West Africa. We adapted (with permission) the curriculum from the UK to suit our environment, which was already mapped (by the author) to articles in the BMJ’s Practical Neurology journal.

Distribution of Continuum series across the region (and beyond).

The pandemic delayed the start of this novel training fellowship in the region by a couple of years, so our first two fellows joined in 2022, and we have two more joining this year. We dedicate Friday afternoons to deliver case-based discussions in a flipped classroom model and then follow the sequence of topics as covered by the Continuum series, which is also mandated as the main reference journal in the sessions. Our sights are now on applying for WFN accreditation of our training site in the coming years.

The pioneer postgraduate fellows Dr. Jamil Said (left) from Eldoret, Western Kenya, and Dr. Eunice Nyambane from Murang’a, Central Kenya, enjoying the Continuum series at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya.

The second idea was to organize a regional conference to bring together the few neurologists in neighboring countries. Again, the idea was shelved during the pandemic, but in May 2022, we held the first multiple sclerosis (MS) conference in East Africa, followed by a headache workshop supported by a grant from the International Headache Society. The success of the conference, together with entering a more quiescent phase of the pandemic, led to a second MS conference in May 2023. In both MS conferences, the Continuum series were distributed to participants from a breadth of countries, and we shared our model of using the journal as the main reference point for case discussions and didactic lectures. The journals have all gone to academic institutions and referral hospitals, and will no doubt be great sources of guidance for managing patients and educating the next generation of specialists in East Africa.

Dilraj Singh Sokhi is the founding neurology fellowship director and associate professor of neurology at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya.