How to support the International Federation of Surgical Colleges?
The situation with regard to surgical education and training in sub-Saharan Africa for both qualified doctors and Non Clinician Physicians (NCPs), i.e. not medically qualified, is desperate.
1. In developing countries the majority of trained surgeons (80%) work in the cities and large towns whereas 80% of the population live in the rural areas. Hence the need to train NCP’s in emergency surgery who live, work and are prepared to stay in their home environment. We are therefore developing a specially designed surgical training Course for NCPs which we shall pilot in Ifakara, Tanzania early next year. If successful the Course model, suitably adapted to local needs, could then be utilised elsewhere in the developing world.
2. All our Courses involve a “training the trainer” element to ensure sustainability. These courses will be in great demand following ratification of the World Health Assembly Resolution, “Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as an integral component of Universal Health Coverage”, on 22 May 2015.
3. There is enormous scope for research into the burden of surgical disease in developing countries. Such research is desperately lacking in sub-Saharan Africa.
We have designed a Research Skills Course which was piloted in Ethiopia last year. This was a great success and we look forward to developing the Course.
Supporting the above programmes will greatly help to save lives in Africa.