ISUOG Outreach partners with the Governate of Fayoum and Fayoum University Hospital to launch an ultrasound training program in Egypt with the focus on building capacity in Upper Egypt.

ISUOG Outreach partners with the Governate of Fayoum and Fayoum University Hospital to launch an ultrasound training program in Egypt with the focus on building capacity in Upper Egypt.

ISUOG Outreach training in ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology, Phase I – Trip 1

Location: Fayoum, Egypt

Dates: 8-12 May 2022

Project partners: Governate of Fayoum, Fayoum University Hospital, Egyptian Fetal Medicine Foundation and Mindray

ISUOG Training team: 
Dr. Mohammed Kamal (Egypt) – Team Leader and Local Project Liaison
Dr Mona Aboulghar (Egypt) – ISUOG International Faculty
Dr Amira Azziz (Egypt) 
Dr Hassan Gaafar (Egypt)
Dr Ahmed Khatib (Egypt)
Dr Marwa Radwan (Egypt)

Gesu Antonio Baez (UK/Italy) – International Development Consultant
Dusan Milenkovic (UK/Serbia) – Projects and Development Consultant

Project purpose: To provide ultrasound training and teaching methodology to OB/GYN practitioners in Egypt with the intention that these trainees eventually become local trainers in basic training for Upper Egypt and low access areas in the country.

Project deliverables:

Goal: By the end of Phase I, trainees will be competent in ultrasound scanning techniques and conduct quality scans in line with basic training outreach templates (SO2).

Output: Training dedicated trainees in basic ultrasound in OB/GYN scanning and hone in on their skills by evaluating their progress and provide mentoring between programs. 

Outcome: Trainees competent OB/GN ultrasound scanning will increase level of anomaly identification and aid in preventing preventable causes of maternal mortality locally.

Participants: 28 trainees, mainly from Fayoum and Cairo, with some from Upper Egypt.

Training location: Fayoum General Hospital, Fayoum

Training summary:

Phase I Trip 1 commenced with an opening Ceremony, featuring talks from the Governate of Fayoum, industry partner Mindray, Dr Mohammed Kamal (Project Lead and Local Project Liaison) and Gesu Antonio Baez (on behalf of ISUOG). The program in Fayoum was the return of the ISUOG Outreach program to on-site training, halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The last program on the ground was Phase II of the Oman Outreach program in Muscat back in February 2020. The program consisted of hands-on scanning taking place in the morning with lectures taking place in the afternoon. The general training consisted of hands-on practical training from 9:30-12:00 and theoretical from 12:30 to 15:00. Training took place at Fayoum General Hospital with the lectures taking place in the general ward lecture room and scans within the maternity ward. This hospital was chosen as it is a public hospital with considerable need, highly under resourced but with a good patient flow that helped with the training.

In addition, OPUS Simulator machines were brought to the program from the ISUOG Secretariat as well. The benefit of the simulators was that it granted the trainees the possibility to perfect their hand coordination at their own pace and speed. While at first resistant to the idea of the simulator, the trainees appreciated it immensely.

Five machines were offered on loan by Mindray to support the program. Trainees were predominately OB/GYNs and were mainly based between Fayoum and parts of Upper Egypt and Cairo. The intention is that these trainees later be reinvested into providing basic OBGYN training for Upper Egypt which is in need. The trainers were predominately ISUOG International faculty based in Egypt. This was the first time that ISUOG conducted training as such (apart from the program in Nigeria but that was also remotely managed due to COVID).

The key issue of Egypt is lack of standardised approach in OBGYN ultrasound education. While scanning is conducted, there is no agreed methodology on how to teach it. ISUOG uniquely fills this gap with its approach and training to build capacity, particularly in underserved Upper Egypt.

Trainees were divided into groups of six to five with each trainer subsequently becoming their mentor accordingly. Trainees will now send images on a weekly basis to their trainers with quarterly targets for cases to provide before the next training session. Chats are being done on WhatsApp. Trainees will also be assigned further a virtual mentor to enhance their training experience as well, who will be of further guidance.

During the closing ceremony, Outreach history was made when for the first time, the ISUOG CEO was present. Following strategic meetings taking place in Cairo, Johan Vos of ISUOG joined with Prof Hisham Mirghani of the Outreach Committee. Both Hisham and Johan hosted a session with trainees as well to ask what their thoughts were on the program and how to better improve their learning experience.

None of this would be possible without the formidable assistance of our main partner on the ground, the Egyptian Fetal Medicine Foundation, which has been instrumental in both supporting and facilitating this endeavour.