Tanzanian Children Have New Access to Brain Monitoring
Pictured: Simon Griffin, Dr. Edward Kija, Mary Anne Griffin, Keith Morgan
Edward Kija is the only pediatric neurologist in Tanzania. With a physician to population ratio of 1:20,000, and only 135 pediatricians to care for children who represent 44 percent of the population, providing subspecialty care is challenging to say the least. While this African country is making strides to create better access to hospitals, clinics, and dispensaries, there were only two EEG devices and three trained EEG technologists in the nation.
Now Dr. Kija has a new tool to help Tanzanian children with seizure disorders, the majority who suffer from epilepsy and complications from cerebral palsy. Lifelines Neurodiagnostic Systems, Inc. has donated a complete Lifelines iEEG Portable video EEG system, including a Lifelines R40 amplifier, photic stimulator, camera system, and cloud account.
“We are pleased to support Dr. Kija and the children of Tanzania,” said Simon Griffin, CEO of Lifelines. “It fulfills our mission to change lives through neurodiagnostic innovation, and our vision to expand delivery into underserved channels.”
Keith Morgan, MBA, R. EEG T., CEO of Neurotech, LLC in Waukesha, WI, is a longtime customer of Lifelines and was critical in helping to facilitate the donation. Morgan met Dr. Kija through connections at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, when he expressed interest in overseas mission work.
“I was introduced to Dr. Kija by Dr. Jorge Vidaurre, a pediatric neurologist from Nationwide who went to Tanzania to train Dr. Kija’s team in 2015. Dr. Kija then received a six-week traveling grant to observe pediatric epilepsy care at Nationwide,” said Morgan.
While Morgan’s young family has prevented him from traveling abroad for mission work, he has been contributing by spending an hour each week to help remotely train the three EEG technologists in Dr. Kija’s EEG lab.
“When Keith reached out to tell me about Dr. Kija’s needs, I immediately said we would help,” said Griffin. “Knowing our technology will make a difference is why we do what we do.”
Dr. Kija has big plans for his new Lifelines EEG equipment. Currently, there are only two EEG machines for 1000 beds in his hospital. With 10 – 15 patients daily, 60 percent of them pediatric, this will enable a higher level of care, including long-term monitoring which was previously unavailable. To date, he has been able to provide 25 EEG studies as he and his team learn to use the new equipment.