Mediterranean and African Society of Ultrasound-Status in Their Region
Imaging and Diagnostic Radiology (East Africa)
MASU is a Society, which has been formed to promote the development of US in Africa. It organizes international congresses and courses and has setup a fellowship program in diagnostic and interventional US. The challenges in Africa are immense; both in terms of diversity and extent. Other than a handful of relatively developed radiology services, most are struggling with the ability to train Radiologists and Physicians. Introduction of simple ultrasound skills would go a long way in ensuring that doctors can perform easy ultrasound examinations learnt during their undergraduate years and reduce the burden on Radiologists and Physicians. Introducing ultrasound at an undergraduate level will have multiple advantages ranging from a practical teaching tool, especially for anatomy, to attaining skills to perform ultrasound independently after graduation. At present, there are only a handful of universities that have adopted or intend to adopt this training skill; however, others will follow, albeit at a slow pace. Most universities in Africa offer a 5 year course in medicine. During the first two years, ultrasound can be used as an adjunct to learning anatomy in a ‘real-time’ environment. This can be followed up in the clinical years with point of care ultrasound examinations (POCUS). Summative assessments during clinical years must test the skills attained and this is best done by DOPS (Direct Observation of Procedural Skills). This will ensure that recently qualified doctors can practice their basic skills accurately and independently. This also creates an interest in learning ultrasonography at a post graduate level. In many African countries, ultrasound is firmly within the domain of Radiology, however, an early exposure to this modality will create an interest in all clinical areas, thereby opening the use of ultrasound to all specialties. The introduction of ultrasound in Africa at a medical undergraduate level is still in its infancy and there is no data available regarding its impact. Anecdotal evidence is positive and this is backed by publications from developed countries.
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology
(2017). Mediterranean and African Society of Ultrasound-Status in Their Region. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 43(Suppl 1), S83.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_imaging_diagn_radiol/58