Duke donates surgical drills to Nigerian hospital

Posted December 5, 2008 2:13 p.m. EST

— Duke Medicine has donated eight surgical drills to a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria.

The African nation previously had only one outdated drill for use in head and neck surgeries and had none to help train future surgeons, surgeons said.

“I think it will have a huge impact,” Dr. David M. Kaylie, associate professor of surgery in Duke's Division of Otolaryngology, said in a statement. “These drills will allow them to do surgery that they have not been able to do.

“They are doing brain surgery and ear surgery with very primitive tools, and they are not able to teach their residents temporal bone dissection because there are no drills in the country for surgery, let alone the lab," he said. "This makes it very difficult for them to do complex neurosurgery and otology cases. It is amazing to me that the equipment we will donate can be so beneficial to these doctors in Nigeria.”

Duke learned of the situation recently when Dr. Okezie Obasi Kanu, consultant neurosurgeon at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, spent three months in Durham working with Dr. Allan H. Friedman, Duke's chief of neurosurgery.

The divisions of otolaryngology and neurosurgery have moved into larger, renovated lab space for teaching temporal bone surgery and received new equipment donated by surgical drill maker Anspach, freeing the eight drills for Nigeria.

The drills should be shipped next week and arrive by Christmas, Kaylie said.

“We are grateful for Duke Medicine’s generosity,” Kanu said. “The drills will be shared with Dr. Nkiru Asoegwu ... and will significantly enhance our ability to treat patients and train future surgeons in both neurosurgery and neuro-otology.”

Asoegwu is coming to Duke for three months, starting in February, to work with Kaylie.