ANDREF is a non-profit, non-religious, non-political organisation run by a board of Directors. ANDREF operates two clinics in Kibera and Waithaka, two of Kenya’s largest slum areas, to clinically assess patiients and to dispense medication to persons suffering from Epilepsy
The leading causes of death of children under 5 are neonatal causes which include infection, birth asphyxia and congenital abnormalities amongst others (WHO 2006). Inadequate primary health care, poor birthing techniques and untreated infectious diseases are often responsible and the survivors of these conditions are often left with severe neurological impairment. When combined with other common neurological diseases such as epilepsy we are left with a serious health problem.
Neurological diseases can cause significant detriment to the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of the people they affect. They must be addressed at a medical and social level and this is often necessary on a long-term basis.
Professor Renato Ruberti was an internationally known Neurosurgeon who graduated at the Medical School of the University of Padua, Italy. He specialized in Neurosurgery at the same Medical School and has been Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Institute of Neurosurgery of the Medical School of the University of Padua and Consultant Neurosurgeon in other Italian Hospitals before leaving for Kenya.
He came to Kenya several times as a tourist before deciding, on the invitation of the Kenya Government, to settle in Kenya and pioneer Neurosurgery in 1967. He established a Neurosurgical Service at the Kenyatta National Hospital where he lectured and was instrumental in training young Neurosurgeons. He then set up Centres of Neurosurgery at the Nairobi Hospital, the Aga Khan and the M. P. Shah Hospital. He became a Kenya Citizen in 1972.
In l972 he hosted a Congress at The Medical School of Nairobi on ‘Brain Tumors in the African’ and on this occasion he contributed to the foundation of the Pan African Association of Neurological Sciences (PAANS) of which he became the Hon. Secretary. Professor Ruberti worked tirelessly to have the PAANS recognized by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) in Tokyo in 1973 and he became a delegate for the PAANS to the WFNS. Later on the PAANS was also recognized by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN). The Neurological Society of Kenya was also founded by him in 1974.
Since then he has dedicated a great part of his time to the progress of Neurosurgery and Neurology in Sub-Saharan Africa. He promoted biennial congresses of the PAANS
in all parts of Africa. He subsequently became President of the PAANS in 1982 when the Congress was held in Nairobi. In the same year he founded the African Journal of Neurological Sciences (AJNS) of which he has been Editor for 20 years consecutively.
Professor Ruberti is a Fellow, Member or Hon. Member of many National and International Associations (European Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, International College of Surgeons etc.) and has been awarded several International Honors for his work (Ambassador for Epilepsy, Governor of the International College of Surgeons, Hon. President of the PAANS, and of the Neurological Society of Kenya etc.) He has written over 100 publications and monographies on neurological and neurosurgical subjects.
Professor Renato Ruberti has been unanimously elected Honorary President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) on the occasion of the 13th World Congress of Neurosurgery held in Marrakesh, Morocco on the 19th – 24th June 2005.
This prestigious recognition awarded by the WFNS for his work reflects on the high level of Neurosurgery which is available to all Kenyans, and the global progress of Neurosciences.