The Ghana Project is a fellowship program founded in 2013 as a joint venture between FIUGA and the Ghanaian College of Surgeons to address the need to train Ghanaian doctors in treating women with female pelvic floor disorders. The goal of the project is to expand knowledge around post-fistula repair incontinence and the treatment of genital prolapse, urinary incontinence, and overactive bladder syndrome, and to create a self-sustaining training center of excellence in West Africa. This fellowship is the first accredited FPMRS fellowship in West Africa to train Ob/Gyn doctors to become sub-specialists. The program requires the fellows to complete both clinical and research components to obtain board certification in FPMRS.
In order to launch this project, FIUGA donated numerous supplies and equipment. In the early phase of the program, the emphasis was mainly on basic surgical skills. FIUGA selected FPMR surgeons in academic medicine, who were also members of IUGA, and invited them to travel to Ghana (Accra and Kumasi) to teach the fellows. In the initial years of the program, FIUGA sent visiting faculty on a monthly basis for 2 weeks. After 3 years, once the Ghanaian faculty members and the fellows gained the necessary skills to perform essential female pelvic reconstructive surgery and understand the fundamental principles of the specialty, the frequency of visits was reduced to quarterly. In 2015 the first FPMRS fellow graduated and now practices as a faculty member. In 2017, two additional fellows completed the program and are now serving as vital faculty in the medical school and residency and fellowship programs, emphasizing in teaching FPMRS.
FIUGA and industry partners continue to contribute supplies and equipment to sustain the program. In 2017, Laborie donated 2 urodynamics machines to each site and they are now performing studies for those women who have complex pelvic floor issues.
In 2018, FIUGA funded the first visiting female pelvic physical therapist to teach in Ghana, both at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and Komfo Anoykye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi. During the two-week visit, the medical students, residents, physical therapists, FPMRS fellows as well as the faculty members were exposed to the concept of female pelvic floor PT. This was considered to be an eye-opening experience for them. FIUGA is committed to supporting and expanding these vital and much needed programs.
In addition, FIUGA is providing to the Ghanaian faculty, fellows and residents a remote lecture series comprised of 50 video lectures contributed from expert urogynecologists throughout the world. This lecture series, covering key issues in FPMRS, will also be made available through the IUGA Academy to all members of IUGA for teaching worldwide.
The Ghanaian fellows are also exposed to FPMRS at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, for a period of 6 months. FIUGA also supports the fellows’ travel to IUGA’s Annual Meetings.
In 2018, FIUGA plans to obtain grant funding in order to continue the clinical and research components required for board certification in FPMRS. Through our joined efforts, we can achieve the goal of teaching the teachers and creating a self-sustainable FPMRS program.
One of the strengths of the Ghana Project is FIUGA’s provision of onsite volunteer faculty members from all parts of the world for 2-weeks quarterly. We are grateful to have had so many enthusiastic volunteers who have already visited Ghana to teach.
FIUGA is seeking volunteer lecturers for its 52-week remote lecture series. These lectures will be used with FIUGA’s current FPMRS fellowship in Ghana as well as in future fellowship sites.
Selected lecturers will record their lecture (instructions provided; no special equipment required) as well as participate in a real-time online group chat session with lecture recipients using Google Hangout. The live-chat session takes place roughly a week after the lecture is electronically delivered in order to review the key messages of the lecture and answer questions.
Below is the list of topics for which lecturers are still needed. If you are interested in recording one of these remaining lectures, please send your CV and name of the lecture you are interested in to Missy Render at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers should have appropriate experience and expertise in the subject matter to instruct faculty, fellows, and residents.
- Pelvic Floor Anatomy
- Embryology of the Lower Urogenital Tract
- Congenital Abnormalities of the Lower Urogenital Tract
- Bladder and Urethral Function
- Pelvic Physiology
- The Office Evaluation of Urinary Incontinence
- Urodynamic Investigation of the Storage Phase
- Urodynamic Investigation of the Voiding Phase
- Bladder Physiology
- The Office Evaluation of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Surgical Management of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Native Tissue Repairs): Vaginal Procedures
- Surgical Management of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Native Tissue Repairs): Abdominal Procedures
- Adjuvant Grafts in the Treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Pharmacological Treatment of OAB
- Behavioral and Pharmacologic Therapy of Anal Incontinence
- Surgical Management of Anal Incontinence
- Epidemiology and Evaluation of Constipation
- Surgical Management of Rectal Prolapse and Constipation
- Hormonal Effects on the Lower Urinary Tract
- The Effect of Pregnancy and Delivery on the Lower Urinary Tract
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Painful Bladder Disorders
- Sensory Urgency
- Trigger Point Injections
- Vulvodynia and Vestibulitis
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Urethral Diverticulae
- Urogenital Tract Fistulae
Volunteers & Donors