Brain tumor programs in Asia and Africa: current status, challenges, and future perspectives

Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa)


Objective: To assess the status of brain tumor programs in Asia and Africa and propose comprehensive evidence-based short- and long-term measures for improving the existing systems.

Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted in June 2022 by the Asia-Africa Neurosurgery Collaborative. A 27-item questionnaire was designed and distributed to gain insight into the status and future directions of brain tumor programs in Asia and Africa. Six components of brain tumor programs were identified-surgery, oncology, neuropathology, research, training, and finances-and assigned scores of 0-14. The total scores allowed subclassification of each country into levels of brain tumor program from I to VI.

Results: A total of 110 responses from 92 countries were received. These were subdivided into 3 groups: group 1, countries with response from neurosurgeons (73 countries); group 2, countries with no neurosurgeons (19 countries); and group 3, countries without a neurosurgeon response (16 countries). The components associated with the highest level of brain tumor program were surgery, neuropathology, and oncology. Most countries in both continents had level III brain tumor programs with a mean surgical score of 2.24. The major lag between each group was with respect to the advances in neuropathology and financial support.

Conclusions: There is an urgent need to improve and develop existing and nonexistent neuro-oncology infrastructure, personnel, and logistics in countries across the continents, especially for the countries with no neurosurgeons.

Publication (Name of Journal)

World Neurosurgery