By Omar Islam, MD, FRCPC
More than half of the 47 counties in Kenya are without a radiologist. This poses challenges to caring for patients in need of diagnostic radiology services as well as the quest for achieving the sustainable development goal of promoting good health and well-being. Fortunately, through the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) research fellowship, we are taking steps to gradually improve existing capacity for training radiologists in Kenya. This ACU fellowship has provided us with a unique opportunity to collaborate, transfer knowledge and skills in a cross-cultural context. The fellowship is expected to promote medical education and professional development at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Medicine through their participation in virtual educational training programs at Queen’s University’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology in Canada. Through the ACU grant, more than 50 radiology residents from Kenya are currently participating in scheduled online radiology lectures featuring special topics in radiology and emergency department collaborations, monthly grand rounds, and artificial intelligence & radiology lecture series at Queen’s University.
Guided by a bidirectional learning framework that incorporates radiology residency training content from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the partner institution, this online program will build capacity in diagnostic radiology to improve and increase the availability of radiology services in Kenya, particularly in rural areas. Participants will also be completing program evaluation surveys. Data from the surveys will allow us to assess the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the training program, as well as changes in residents’ knowledge, confidence, comfort, and skill regarding their ability to provide quality patient care. In the long-term, we anticipate that this collaborative training will have a positive impact on future generations of radiologists in Kenya through the rippling effect of increasing the number of well-trained radiology graduates in Kenya.