We are happy to announce that we are arranging a Pediatric Neurosurgery training program for Dr. Abai Siyez, neurosurgeon from Third Shastin Central Hospital in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Our goal is to help create an autonomous pediatric neurosurgery department in Mongolia that can treat life-threatening birth defects like spina bifida. Dr. Siyez will train under prominent neurosurgeon, Dr. Rick Abbott at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and their University Hospital, the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
According to the organization Faces of Spina Bifida, and unofficial statistics based on hospital records, independent research, and interviews with doctors, there are around 34 to 37 thousand children in Mongolia who live with disabilities, 12% of which have not been officially diagnosed, and 71% of the children do not get rehabilitation they need. Recently, the number of children born with birth defects rose by an alarming number, especially infants with spina bifida. According to hospital records, the number of infants born with spina bifida increased six times, 49% of which die from complications.
These staggering statistics are being addressed, but not at the scale they need to be. There are only two hospitals that are treating spina bifida in Mongolia. A handful of doctors at Third Shastin Central Hospital in Ulaanbaatar are able to operate on children with spina bifida, but there are no surgeons specializing in the field; the training and techniques used are inadequate. The training program we have arranged will directly impact the lives and the quality of care for children born with this life-threatening birth defect.