The Africa Spinal Cord Injury Network

Who we are:

Consumers and health care workers with an interest in the enhancement of spinal cord injury care in Africa.

What are our aims:
  • Share best practice models
  • Provide appropriate training to the needs of the African continent
  • Support the establishment of specialized spinal unit services on the continent
  • Facilitate the creation of country specific spinal cord injury organisations
  • Foster research and clinical excellence
  • Duplicate good examples of care across the region
  • Network with governmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, and other service providers
  • Link professionals into existing SCI professional networks affiliated with ISCoS
  • Identify key leaders who can be linked together to further progress the Africa SCI Network


Why is AFSCIN needed:

The prognosis for people sustaining SCI in Africa is bleak from the onset. A patient with a SCI in Africa has to cope with a severe traumatic injury/illness, face the added challenges of poor evacuation protocols and pre-hospital care, inadequate radiology imaging services, and the lack of specialized units, inadequate rehabilitation services and poorly trained staff. Major challenges are experienced along the entire continuum of care ultimately resulting in poor/limited integration into the community and very little chance of entering or remaining in the job market. The consequence of this is a complete dependency on family, friends and the state, often resulting in the whole family being further trapped in the poverty cycle.  

What are the problems specific to SCI care in Africa: 
  •  Professional skills are limited to a few centers of excellence on the continent
  • The is a lack of minimum standards of care
  • There is a lack of a systems approach to SCI on the continent
  • There is a lack of a holistic, empathic, inter-disciplinary approach to care
  • Research is limited and often not appropriate for the improvement of services on the continent
  • Resources are few and often under utilized