Doctors from Niger learn from Indian

Transferring experience, exchanging knowledge - our concept for the treatment of

"In spring 2014 Dr. Boubacar Idé arrived tired and exhausted after a long, eventful journey which started in Niamey in Africa at the Cleft-centre in Chennai,. He was due to start his 5-month further training to become a cleft surgeon the very next day. His welcome, he says, was very warm. He was given a small apartment near the clinic, food and immediately a lot of work. Now he must, in addition to his work as an assistant at the clinic, which starts at 07.00 hours every day and goes on to 8.00 in the evening, complete the theoretical part of his training and improve his English language knowledge. His day was rarely over before midnight.
The full, rigorous program is, as Prof. Sailer explains, intentional: "Everyday life as a seasoned cleft surgeon is perhaps one of the most strenuous there is. Surgeries often take many hours, and the next day it starts again straight away. It’s demanding , but that's the reality. We get used to it from the beginning. "
During the first two weeks alone, he observed not only the preliminary examinations of the children but was also present during 21 operations. 


He got to know everything about the interventions, the preparatory and follow-up care at close quarters and performed the treatments himself. In 5 months he will return to Africa as a cleft surgeon able to work by himself, from whom others can then also learn.


He also talks about his colleague, the young African doctor Halima Souley. She is currently in India practising the accurate suturing of wounds after the completion of an operation. But not on small patients with cleft lips or palates: she uses a piece of chicken breast or maybe a pillow, which she then has to present to the training doctors the next day. But she will also soon be performing operations autonomously and, back home in Niamey, will perhaps also be the person who checks the chicken sewn by young colleagues.

This kind of knowledge transfer and the results of the training have proven to be worthwhile in all respects - and these two doctors from Niger will also return to their home country as reliable, highly qualified cleft surgeons to work in a Cleft-centre in which other people can then learn and benefit from their experience: return to the many small cleft-patients and sometime also young doctors whom they will instruct."