A doctor’s quest to better treat children with brain tumors in underserved countries

January 12, 2017 | by Denise Heady

breakthroughs - Dr. Jandial in Peru Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., performing surgery in Lima, Peru

Neurosurgeon and scientist Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., has spent his career performing complex operations here in Los Angeles. In addition to serving the underserved at home, he always knew wanted to do more for the global community.

“When you learn an extraordinary skill, it can't be just for the rich,” said Jandial, associate professor in the Division of Neurosurgery at City of Hope, in an interview with ABC’s "Nightline."

So he decided to do something more.

Jandial, along with Mike Levy, M.D., Ph.D., the chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital San Diego, decided to travel to underserved countries and not only perform brain surgeries on disadvantaged children, but provide the hospitals with medical equipment and teach the local doctors new skills and techniques so they could conduct these lifesaving surgeries on their own.

That first trip was 13 years ago. And now this idea has developed into a nonprofit organization called the International Neurosurgical Children's Association (INCA), which aims to raise the standard of brain surgery provided to disadvantaged children in developing nations.

Jandial dedicates his time and own funds to the cause, but he also works with City of Hope to bring hospital equipment to these programs that consider the used equipment “lifesavers.”

“This is very generous of them [City of Hope],” Jandial told Nightline. “Even though it’s stuff that we may throw away or we think is no longer useful, for them [in Peru], it’s gold.”

ABC’s "Nightline" followed Jandial and Levy on their most recent trip to Peru and documented the duo teaching and performing surgeries to empower local neurosurgeons to care for their citizens.

“When Mike Levy and I first showed up here we were like, ‘I’m not sure I’ve been to a place where there are incomplete mud huts and buildings outside of a hospital,’” said Jandial. “It just feels good to provide real care to these people.”

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If you are looking for a second opinion about your diagnosis or consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.

 

 

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