Epigraph Vol. 17 Issue 1, 2015

The Frst Francophone Teaching Course of the Commission for African Affairs a True Success!

Lionel Carmant, MD
Lionel Carmant, MD Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics CHU Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal
Amadou Gallo Diop, MD
Amadou Gallo Diop, MD Professor of Neurology and Medicine CHU Fann, Université de Daka

The first Francophone teaching session of the Commission of African Affairs was held from 15 July to 18 July 2013 in Dakar, Senegal. This session was scheduled to take place initially in 2012 in Bamako, Mali, but was moved to Dakar due to the political unrest in Mali.

Despite the change in location, the course was given to more than 100 French-speaking neurologists, neurology residents and neurosurgeons. This included the target population this course was initially created for, the Malian primary care physicians, also known as RARE network. The Malian group was well represented with 15 members: 12 primary care physicians, two neurologists and one neurosurgeon.

Also significant was the presence of participants from all French-speaking Africa, a number of which are part of the Dakar neurology program, including the Masters in Epileptology. Countries represented included: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Congo and of course Senegal.

The first Francophone teaching session of the Commission of African Affairs
The first Francophone teaching session of the Commission of African Affairs

The topics of interest were put together by Pr Gallo Diop (Senegal) and Dr Youssoufa Maiga (Mali). A group of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-radiologists and neuro-epidemiologists shared the task of providing the avid learners with a four-day course. Teachers included Drs Diop, Touré, Ndiaye, Ba, Seybou, Fall, Sow, Seck and Basse from Senegal; Drs Koumaré, Landouré, Nimaga and Mamadou from Mali; and Drs Carmant, Mercier and Nguyen from Canada, who obtained a grant from the North-American Commission and University of Montreal to partner with French-speaking countries of the CAA.

The course was a comprehensive review of epilepsy going from basic sciences and the physiological basis of EEG on day one, to diagnosis, classification and treatment of the epilepsies on day two, followed by investigation and surgical/alternative approach to the refractory epilepsies on day three, including a case-review session, and finally on day four, review of the CAA programs already in place. The meeting led to numerous exchanges including partnerships to start a ketogenic diet program in Dakar as well as epilepsy surgery programs in both Dakar and Bamako for lesional epilepsies including patients with MR proven mesial temporal sclerosis.

All participants expressed their high level of satisfaction after the course and a second course is already in preparation for 2015-2016. The course has solidified the partnership between the Canadian League and Senegalese and Malian Leagues as well as the partnership program between the North American Commission and the Commission for African Affairs.

We would like to thank the ILAE for their support of this program.