Interesting results thus far - the intervention is proving successful!
Our research team met with 22 surgical providers from district hospitals in Malawi (13 control hospitals and 9 intervention hospitals). This was to conduct mid-term data collection surveys recording the capacity of surgical district hospitals based on the following components: personnel, infrastructure, procedures, equipment and supplies. The team also collected data from operating theatre registers, on all surgical cases performed in the 2018 calendar year.
The team also hosted a second Participatory Action Research (PAR) workshop. The workshop brought together SURG-Africa supervisors and clinicians from intervention district hospitals. As a group they reviewed the successes and challenges from the mentorship visits to-date, always with the view to improving future supervisory visits.
Our time in Malawi finished with a meeting for “Scaling up the Training in Surgery, Anaesthetics and Obstetrics (SAO) in Malawi” which was facilitated by SURG-Africa. This initial meeting brought the Malawi Ministry of Health, surgical specialists, educators, professional surgical societies and relevant stakeholders together to develop a national SAO Training Plan for Malawi. Our team will work with the College of Medicine Malawi to support a study which will determine capacity of training facilitates across the country and to identify opportunities and needs for potential expansion of training programmes in all surgical specialities and anaesthesia. SURG-Africa looks forward to facilitating further meetings as the plan is developed.
Next to Lusaka, Zambia. The team successfully conducted another round of mid-term data collection with 11 control and 10 intervention District Hospitals. The team made great use of the opportunity to take stock of how well the project is proceeding in Zambia, planning for further sub-studies. We also met representatives of the Ministry of Health to discuss development of the national surgical information system - a process which SURG-Africa supports.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania was the final stop for our research team. SURG-Africa had a productive meeting with the Tanzanian Advisory Board, and plan to meet again during the next round of data-collection. Our economic studies were applauded by the Advisory Board members. We are working to calculate how much surgery costs in Tanzania, who pays for it and how. Supervisory visits are continuing and we look forward to the second PAR workshop in Tanzania this summer.
Lots of interesting data collected from this trip to keep the consortium busy with data analysis, keep an ear out for the results!
The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (Grant Agreement no. 733391) SURG-Africa is a collaboration between: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Tanzania Surgical Association, University of Malawi (College of Medicine), Surgical Society of Zambia, Radboud University Medical Centre (Netherlands), University of Oxford (UK), East Central and Southern African-Health Community (ECSA-HC), College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), and Ministries of Health in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.