The mission of the Foundation for International Urogynecological Assistance (FIUGA) is to improve the quality of life of women with pelvic floor problems by promoting research and education of their care providers. One of the ways we put our mission into action is through our International Assistance Programs through which we partner with local academic institutions and hospitals to establish urogynecology fellowship training programs in underserved regions of the world.
At the beginning of 2019, a new FIUGA-supported urogynecology fellowship program began in Dharan, Nepal, in partnership with B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS). Baburam Dixit is the first fellow enrolled. The second fellow, Basnet Tulasa, will begin in September 2020.
Three volunteer faculty – Willy Davila, Tony Bazi, and Jane Manning – visited the program in 2019 to provide instruction, hands-on training and mentorship, and Aparna Hegde hosted Dr. Dixit in India during monsoon season when it is not feasible to send faculty to Dharan. Three additional volunteer faculty – Anna Rosamilia, Ty Erickson, and Larissa Rodriguez – have visited the site so far this year. We have faculty lined up for the rest of 2020 and are working to identify the rotation dates and topics for 2021. Though we have had to suspended sending faculty to Nepal for the time being due to COVID-19, we are working to set up remote lectures and tutorials in the meantime.
FIUGA’s first International Assistance Program – the urogynecology fellowship program in Ghana – has graduated 3 fellows, with more currently enrolled in the program. In 2018 and 2019 our teaching focus in Ghana turned to physiotherapy training as we supported 2 physiotherapists each year (Maureen Brennan and Cristiane Carboni in 2018 and Clara Karoliussen and Kendra Erven in 2019) to travel to Ghana to provide instruction to both physicians and physiotherapists, in addition to working closely with the PTs, teaching conservative techniques and seeing patients together.
In September 2019, FIUGA supported Gabriel Ganyaglo (faculty) and Andrew Vormawor (fellow) from the Ghana fellowship program, and Mohan Regmi (faculty) from the Nepal fellowship program, to attend the 2019 AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting. They attended workshops, meeting sessions, and engaged in networking opportunities to further their education and careers in urogynecology.
The support of IUGA members and friends makes these fellowships possible. Visit www.fiuga.org today to donate to our efforts to establish the subspecialty of urogynecology in underserved areas of the world!