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The UNC Department of Radiology collaborates with the University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya. As a result of this partnership, UoN recently established the nation’s first interventional radiology fellowship, which will intake its inaugural class of Kenyan trainees later this year.

Robert G. Dixon, MD, FSIR, clinical professor in the Department of Radiology, visited the University of Nairobi initially in 2018. UoN has an established diagnostic radiology residency program, but there were no opportunities for interventional radiology training within the nation.

With guidance from Dr. Gladys Mwango, the Chair of Radiology at UoN, Dixon has worked with local faculty to create a fellowship for Kenyan radiology residents so that they can continue training in interventional radiology (IR) without leaving the country.

Along with volunteer teams from RAD-AID International, the UNC Vascular Interventional faculty, staff, and residents provide hands-on training and content specific education for Kenyan radiologists, radiologic technologists, and nurses to support the educational objectives of the fellowship. RAD-AID International is a 501(c)(3) organization that aims to increase access to radiology in global health.

The IR fellowship was approved by the UoN university senate in June 2020 and has applications open for the first class later this year. Once the trainees graduate from the fellowship, they will be able to augment the Kenyan IR faculty in order to support the educational program longitudinally.

This week, Dixon hosts a two-day virtual IR symposium, including simulated IR cases, with the Kenya Association of Radiology. Faculty presenters are from Kenya, UNC, and RAD-AID International.

Melissa Culp, M.Ed., RT(R)(MR), Director of UNC Global Radiology, a RAD-AID Chapter, says, “Making sustainable and measurable progress toward health equity requires focus on relationships and on joint collaboration. I am grateful for Bob Dixon’s leadership and for his respectful diplomacy, which has laid the groundwork for this educational opportunity. Achieving this goal would not have been possible without the combined team efforts of the faculty, staff, and trainees from the UNC Department of Radiology.”

UNC Global Radiology, a RAD-AID Chapter, was founded in 2012 by the UNC School of Medicine’s Division of Radiologic Science and the Department of Radiology. Currently, UNC Global Radiology supports global initiatives in Kenya and in Malawi. Our methodology focuses on supporting local economies and on building human capacity to reduce health access disparities.

Photo from 2019—left to right: Chacha Magabe, IR Division Chief, University of Nairobi; Aideen Briones, RAD-AID Nursing; Bob Dixon, Interventional Radiology Program Director, UNC-Chapel Hill; James Machoki, College of Health Sciences Principal, University of Nairobi; Andrew Kesselman, Director, RAD-AID IR; Jessica Stewart, Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology, UNC-Chapel Hill; Gladys Mwango, Chair, Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Medicine, University of Nairobi