Dr. Joseph Liko is an OB/GYN at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya. Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital is the second largest referral hospital in the country and serves a population of nearly 16 million people, mainly from three provinces in western Kenya as well as some parts of eastern Uganda and northern Tanzania. Obstetric fistula is preva lent in this region, and Dr. Liko sees a number of women come to the hospital each month whose lives have been devastated by its physical and social effects – not only are they incontinent, but they are often also suffering from malnutrition, stunted growth and depression. Yet there are never enough trained surgeons to effectively address the problem.
Dr. Liko decided he wanted to do something to help, especially after learning that many of the patients were from the same village where he grew up. “Charity begins at home,” he thought, and he applied for a fellowship with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)’s fistula surgery training program. His skills and dedication landed him a spot as a surgeon trainee at a FIGO-certified center in Kenya. He began training under Dr. Hillary Mabeya at Gynocare Fistula Center in June of this year, as a trainee in our Action on Fistula surgeon training program, funded by Astellas Pharma EMEA.
Dr. Liko completed his training in July and is now certified by FIGO as a standard level fistula surgeon. He will continue working with Dr. Mabeya at Gynocare, and hopes to one day become a trainer himself so that he can help other young surgeons address this important medical issue facing the women of Kenya.