Neurosurgery in Zambia

Neurosurgery focuses on treating disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Neurologists help diagnose and treat conditions like lower back pain, brain tumors, strokes, seizures, and epilepsy. In Zambia, societies and training programs are emerging to produce capable neurologists who can help people dealing with conditions of the nervous system. 

Problems like blood pressure, hemorrhagic stroke, Hydrocephalus, or the build of fluid in brains plague many Zambians. Not too long ago, Zambia was referred to abroad for undertaking delicate neurosurgical operations. However, in recent years, there have been many improvements in the country’s healthcare system. You can find some top neurosurgeons and hospitals specializing in nonsurgical therapies for many conditions. These range from back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, work-related injuries, stroke, and complex spinal disorders.

How Many Neurosurgeons Are There in Zambia

The total number of neurosurgeons in Zambia keeps fluctuating. Currently, there are over 90 specialist neurosurgeons here but not many of them are native. You can find their details below on this page. A majority of these professionals provide their services in Ndola, Copperbelt province in Zambia. So, if you or your loved ones need neurosurgery in Zambia, Kitwe will be the best city to go to. 

The next best place to visit for neurosurgery is Lusaka. It has some of the best surgeons, including Dr. Kachinga Sichizya. He is a 58-year-old neurosurgeon who’s from Mulfulira in Zambia. The neurosurgeon has performed many surgeries in his two-decade-long career. He has also written 11 research books. 

The best surgeons in Zambia are adept at treating complex neurological conditions. These include the following. 

  1. Back and neck pain
  2. A chronic headache that comes with numbness or heaviness in the legs and hands.
  3. Headache management 
  4. Traumatic injuries in the spinal cord and head 
  5. Peripheral nerve entrapment 
  6. Problems in the central nervous system of children. 
  7. Disc problems 
  8. Changes in muscle strength 
  9. Epilepsy 
  10. Cerebral stroke 
  11. Neurological disorders 

Neurosurgeons in Zambia are involved in identifying causes of headaches related to the brain’s function. They are also at the forefront of minimally invasive measures for managing and treating disc problems.

Zambia’s First Female Neurosurgeon

Dr. Jacqueline Mulundika-Mulwanda is the first female surgeon in Zambia. She has been in this profession since 1999. At that time, she was the youngest doctor in Zambia in the neurosurgery domain. Dr. Mulwanda completed her medical training at the UNZA Ridgeway Campus in the year 1989. She specializes in neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery. Her recent operation was done at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital in Ndola in 2006. 

Today, she is 54 years old and the first-ever female surgeon in the entire Zambia. She envisions a cure for breast cancer as Zambia currently has a high number of women battling with this condition. 

Costs of Different Neurological Procedures in Zambia

There are many types of neurosurgical procedures to treat different conditions. You can find the average cost of them in the following table.

Neurosurgery procedure in Zambia Average Cost in Zambian Kwacha (ZK) Average Cost in US Dollar (USD)
BT Shunt ZMW 2,09,127 $10,979
Brachial Plexus Injuries ZMW 1,82,986 $9,607
Brain Aneurysm Repair ZMW 1,65,559 $8,692
Brain Tumor Surgery ZMW 1,87,343 $9,836
Burr-Hole Aspiration for Abscess ZMW 1,96,057 $10,293
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery ZMW 2,00,414 $10,522
Cerebral Aneurysm ZMW 1,61,202 $8,463
Cerebral Spinal Fluid Shunt Procedures ZMW 2,52,695 $13,267
Chronic Sub-dural Haematoma ZMW 1,65,559 $8,692
Stereotactic Procedures ZMW 1,93,878 $10,179
Cranioplasty ZMW 2,09,127 $10,979
Craniotomy ZMW 2,00,414 $10,522
Gamma Knife ZMW 1,61,202 $8,463
Glial Tumor Removal ZMW 2,52,695 $13,267
Hydrocephalus ZMW 1,65,559 $8,692
Peripheral Nerve Surgery ZMW 1,93,878 $10,179
Trans sphenoid operations ZMW 2,09,127 $10,979
VP Shunt Surgery ZMW 1,98,235 $10,407

Success Rate of Neurosurgery in Zambia

The success rate of neurosurgeries is steadily increasing in Zambia. This is due to the increasing access to tools like neuroimaging, CT scans, and MRIs. neurosurgeons are working locally and internationally to increase the quality of their service delivery and practice. 

As recently as February this year, a Chinese medical team assisted Zambian surgeons in performing four transnasal surgeries to remove pituitary tumors, and all of them were successful. 

Zambia’s Maina Soko Medical Centre also achieved a great milestone in this domain. The expert neurosurgeons found success after performing a complex brain operation on June 9, 2023, on a 29-year-old female patient. This goes on to show the improvement in delivering quality healthcare services in this African country.

Qualifications of the Best Neurosurgeons 

It takes around six to eight years to complete medical training and start practicing neurosurgery. You must complete the following educational milestones:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in medicine
  2. Specialization in neurosurgery 
  3. One year of senior residency 
  4. Registration with a professional body 
  5. Evidence of researched supervisory experience 

Neurosurgery Costs in Zambia Compared to Other South African Countries

The table below gives you an average estimate of how much neurosurgery costs in Zambia compared to other South African countries.

Neurosurgery cost in South African country Average Cost in Zambian Kwacha (ZK) Average Cost in US Dollar (USD)
Zambia ZMW 2,00,000 $9559
Angola ZMW 2,50,000 $11949
Botswana ZMW 2,25,000 $10754
Lesotho ZMW 3,00,000 $14,339
Namibia ZMW 3,00,000 $14,339
Mozambique ZMW 2,50,000 $11949
Swaziland ZMW 3,25,000 $15534
Zimbabwe ZMW 3,81,240 $18222

Neurosurgery Costs in Zambia Compared to African Countries

The estimated cost of neurosurgery differs slightly in various countries in Africa. This table will give you a better idea of its cost.

Neurosurgery cost in African country Average Cost in Country Currency Average Cost in US Dollar (USD)
Nigeria ₦ 2,800,000 $3634
Ethiopia ብር923,403 $16713
Algeria 800,000 DZD $5828.9
Ghana 32,64,405 Cedi $283000
Rwanda RWF 40,00000 $3305
Tanzania TZS 2,24,55,360 $9763
Kenya KSH 699,696 $5831
Egypt EGP 293498 $9500
Morocco 19536 MAD $1899
Malawi MWK 2,00,000 $9559
Tunisia 94559 dinar $29999
Libya 33985 Libyan dinar $7000
Uganda UGX 2,81,59,391 $7500
Gabon 4933328 XAF $8000
Mauritius 357206 MUR $8000

Neurosurgery Costs in Zambia Compared to Other Countries

Here’s a cost comparison of neurosurgery among various countries in the world.

Neurosurgery cost in the country The average cost in US dollars (USD)
Zambia $9559
US $30,000
UK $6046
India $7000
Germany $18498
Philippines $2404
Malaysia $15600
China $70,000
Japan $80,000
Thailand $11938
Columbia $12700
Bangladesh $637
Dubai $20000
South Korea $60000

Factors Affecting the Cost of Neurosurgery in Zambia

The overall cost of any neurosurgical process is based on various factors. From consultation fees in the hospital to diagnostic testing and follow-up appointments, all impact the final price. Here are the key determining factors of neurosurgical processes in Zambia. 

  • Consultation services
  • Follow-up consultation 
  • Lab testing services 
  • Administrative services 
  • Type of hospital 
  • Severity of the disorder 
  • Hospital stay 
  • Cost of medication 
  • Follow-up appointments 

Is Neurosurgery Covered by Insurance in Zambia?

Zambia has set in place a Universal Health Insurance scheme. It has merged and replaced three compulsory insurance schemes for the formal, informal sector, and local populations. This broadens the coverage it offers. This contributory scheme imparts coverage to people working in central and local government, state-owned enterprises, and the formal private sector. 

Every contributor can register six beneficiaries and pay a flat, government-subsidized fee to get healthcare services. Claimants receive a package of outpatient and inpatient care. This includes consultations with the surgeon, dental care, medical imaging, lab tests, and surgery expenses. 

There is also the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIMS), which gives access to public and private hospitals. A member of a family who is registered by their employer can grant access to health care services to other members of their family. This extends universal health coverage.

Earlier, private healthcare was only for elites in Zambia. But today, with NHIMS, healthcare has become affordable and accessible for the poor and vulnerable. 

Features of the Top Neurosurgery Hospitals in Zambia

Zambia has some of the best neurosurgery hospitals. These are particularly situated in Lusaka, Chilanga, and Mazabuka. They provide complete care and convenience to patients. The following are the services provided by such clinics and hospitals.

  • State-of-the-art laboratories fully equipped for testing services 
  • Patients can schedule appointments any time of the week, including weekends.
  • 24-hour in-patient and out-patient care
  • Emergency help through an ambulance 

Is Neurosurgery Risky?

One of the major questions in the minds of people is, ‘’Can neurosurgery go wrong?’’ Risks differ according to the type of surgery that the doctor performs. Although the best neurosurgeons operate in a way that minimizes most complications, the likelihood of risks is always there. These include:

  • Bleeding within the brain
  • Brain infections 
  • Blood clots 
  • Swelling of the brain 
  • Loss of speech
  • Memory problems 
  • Strokes 
  • Seizures
  • Unexpected reaction to anesthesia 

Neurosurgery Patient Reviews

Patients who undergo neurosurgical procedures at the hands of the best surgeons in Zambia experience notable improvements in their condition. They find relief from their painful symptoms, which enhances their quality of life. Many have found that the surgeon explains everything about the process properly before doing it. This reassures them and makes them hopeful of recovering from their condition. 

Moreover, follow-up appointments and evaluations also help patients to quicken their recovery process. In the end, the aim of any neurosurgical process is to make the patient feel like their usual self. Patients in Zambia, who have received treatment from top surgeons are able to feel like they did before. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who are the best neurosurgeons in South Africa?

The best neurosurgeons in South Africa have over a decade of experience in their neurosurgical specialty. They also have Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. Most of them are members of a renowned neurosurgeon society in the country. 

2. Who is the youngest neurosurgeon in the country of Zambia?

Dr. Ncumisa Jilata is Africa’s youngest neurosurgeon. She earned this title 29 years after she completed her five-year fellowship at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

3. What is the average cost of surgery in Zambia?

The average cost of surgery in Zambia is ZMW 233,710. It amounts to $11208. 

4. Which hospitals are the best in Zambia?

Pearl of Health Hospital, Victoria Hospital, and Beat Cure Hospital in Lusaka are some of the best ones in Zambia. Progress Medical Centre and Coptic Hospital in Lusaka are also known for their high-quality and affordable medical care.

The Top Neurosurgeons in Zambia

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