Known as a man of few words and, at the same time, one of the most personable and affable people I’ve ever met, Dr. Justin Onen first met Dr. Ben Warf in 2005 when Justin was hired as a medical officer in Uganda. A few years later, Justin was accepted into a neurosurgery residency program in Rabat, Morocco. During that time, he got married and started his family. Since the residency program was based in Morocco, Justin had to learn both French and Arabic, while training to be a neurosurgeon. No small feat, and an amazing accomplishment!
With a contagious laugh and a smile that lights up any room, Justin’s passion and commitment in treating children is evident to anyone who’s spent any amount of time with him. After training in Morocco, Justin has worked in Zambia before returning to Uganda, where he currently operates at Mulago National Referral Hospital and other hospitals in and around Kampala.
Earlier this year, Justin joined Dr. Warf and Dr. Femi Bankole in Rabat to train Dr. Yassaad Oudrhiri, one of Justin’s peers from his neurosurgery residency. We’ve written before about the reunion of Dr. Warf, Dr. Onen and Dr. Bankole—a very special moment. Justin is on the short list of first generation surgeons to be trained by Dr. Warf in ETV/CPC, and now he passed it on to Dr. Oudrhiri, a great showcase in how NeuroKids will scale this treatment and protection for children around the world from the complications of hydrocephalus.
This week, Dr. Onen is in Enugu, Nigeria to train Dr. Enoch Uche in the Warf method (ETV/CPC). Dr. Uche and his team at UNTH-Enugu see a high volume of children in need of neurosurgery and demonstrated a commitment to advance treatment and care, an ideal partner for NeuroKids. This is a monumental week for NeuroKids and a great picture of the future of global neurosurgery.
For nearly 20 years, Dr. Onen has given his time, talent and energy to protecting children from the devastating consequences of hydrocephalus. Dr. Onen is toward the top of the list of champions fighting for these children and their families, a real treasure for NeuroKids and one of our favorite persons of all time.