This was a successful donation project of books, tee shirts and electrodes to three global locations, one in Nigeria and two in Vietnam. The donations were executed in partnership and collaboration with three organizations: ASET, the Global Organization of Healthcare Education (GOHE), and Children’s of Alabama Hospital and Rhythmlink LLC.
Our project began with the idea of donating books from the conference bookstore. ASET leadership reached out to Trei King, Chair of ASET’s Global Initiatives Taskforce (GITF), who then collaborated with GOHE leadership to determine locations that could benefit around the world. The project expanded to include ASET conference tee shirts and electrode donations from Rhythmlink, who was exhibiting at the conference. GOHE leaders determined shipping logistics and organized the packaging of the books, shirts and electrodes. Donations from Children’s of Alabama helped to pay for the shipment to Vietnam and from Anna Bonner, ASET’s Director of Publications, who paid for the shipment to Nigeria. Items were received and in use in less than 2 weeks of the conference.
The recipient in Vietnam (Figure 1) were two hospitals connected to the Children’s Hospitals International Outreach Program, specifically the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi and Nhi Dong 2 Hospital in Ho Chi Min. “Epilepsy is common in Vietnam, but a shortage of pediatric neurosurgeons places limits on how the condition is diagnosed and treated.” For example, “Alabama, with a population of just 4.5 million, has five pediatric neurosurgeons. The northern district of Vietnam, centered around Hanoi, has four pediatric neurosurgeons, but they tend a population of more than 50 million.”
The recipients in Nigeria (Figure 2) are Murtala Bankole and Isiaca Amoo, newly ABRET board-certified in EEG (July 2021), and are leaders of the African Neurophysiological Society. The problem they face in Nigeria is there are clinics purchasing EEG equipment whose nurses have no knowledge of how to properly perform testing. Bankole and Isiaca are on a mission to train and educate those nurses to improve the timeliness of diagnosis and treatment decisions and improve patient care and outcomes by qualified providers. Additionally, Bankole leads another non-profit organization, The Epilepsy Ambassador Initiative (TEAi) and through this platform, he is able to distribute books and other EEG products to the Nigerian students who truly need them.
This donation project is an example of a swift collaboration between three organizations and an electrode vendor to increase access to neurological care in low- and middle-income countries despite COVID and travel restrictions. If you are interested in supporting future projects like this one, your donation can be made on the GOHE website. GOHE, Children’s Alabama’s International Outreach Program and the ASET GITF will coordinate the shipping of books and other products to clinics low- and middle-income countries.
We encourage you to help support improved neurological care and patient outcomes from the comfort of your office or home by donating to GOHE.