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.
Formal neurosurgery developed in Kenya, with the arrival of the first trained specialist, Dr. Renato Ruberti, whose pioneering efforts resulted in the founding of the Neurological Society of Kenya (NSK), the Pan African Association of Neurological Sciences (PAANS), and the African Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (AFNS) 1).
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 1972 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 Marrakech, 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.