COST-Africa project developed a BSc course for non-doctors in Malawi. The volume of surgical procedures almost doubled between 2013 and 2015 in participating hospitals.
With a population of 18 million, Malawi has the highest rate of rural dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa (84%). The country has only 42 surgeons, all of whom work in the main city hospitals, leaving more than 15 million people with little or no access to surgical care provided by specialists.
Can qualitative evidence inform health policy and practice? RCSI researchers shared their experiences and findings at the first global Qualitative Evidence Symposium.
Malawian government takes action to help retain surgically trained Clinical Officers’ in district hospitals.
Surgically trained clinical officers from across the country have been leaving their jobs in districts hospitals and moving away from practicing the profession. Lack of recognition by the and delays in promotions after obtaining a BSc in general surgery made some of them seek better job opportunities elsewhere. This has the potential of negatively impacting access to surgery in areas outside cities where majority of Malawians live.
Representing all partners in the project, the SURG-Africa team had a total of 8 oral presentations at the World Congress of Surgery.
From the 11th to the 15th of August, the SURG-Africa team took part in the 48th World Congress of Surgery (WCS), held in Krakow, Poland, where we had the opportunity to showcase the different aspects of the project to the surgical community from all over the world.
Our Global Surgery Seminar stressed the importance of training and supervising local surgical clinicians in the drive to improve global access to safe surgery.
Advocating for sustainable supervision systems for district clinicians at the latest G4 gathering
SURG-Africa’s work was presented at the G4 Alliance Permanent Council Meeting, which took place in Geneva in May 2019, highlighting some of the ways to increase access to safe surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa. We stressed the importance of mobilising specialist surgeons, predominantly working only in urban centres, through regular visits to district hospitals to build the capacities of local surgical teams and to bring their expertise closer to hard to reach communities in rural areas.
Read the full presentation here.
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.
In March 2018, SURG-Africa implemented a remote Mobile Consultation Network in the Southern Region of Malawi. This network bridges the communication and supervision gap that had existed between district level surgical clinicians with surgical teams at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. Free of charge, this network is now bringing together over 100 district clinicians and 15 surgical experts. Watch the following videos to hear more about the experience of the teams on the ground.
SURG-Africa researchers from Ireland, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia present their work at the COSECSA Conference and all country partners meet to conduct the second annual SURG-Africa Consortium Meeting.
Hear from SURG-Africa on their Mobile Managed Clinical Network in Malawi which has facilitated mentorship between district and central surgical clinicians and decreased the number of unnecessary surgical referrals from the district level.
Meetings, meetings and hospital visits: RCSI team undertook a field trip to Malawi.
SURG-Africa participation to the 2nd African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREHEALTH)
SURG-Africa researchers, Mweene Cheelo representing Zambia and Adinan Juma from the Tanzania team took part to the 2nd AFREhealth Symposium.
One of our Nursing Supervisors and Anaesthetists describes how SURG-Africa is working to improve surgical conditions in district hospitals in Zambia
Judith Munthali, the president of Zambia Operating Theatre Nurses Interest Group and one of our SURG-Africa supervisors in Zambia, provides a brief overview of how SURG-Africa activities help address the current local needs related to surgical nursing care at district level hospitals in Zambia.
Click Read More to hear about how SURG-Africa works with Ministries of Health to ensure that interventions are needs driven and engage with the local actors
Dr Daniel Makawa, deputy director of Clinical Care and Technical Services within the Ministry of Health in Zambia, provides a brief overview of the collaboration between the Zambian Ministry of Health and SURG-Africa. The Surg-Africa project aims to scale up safe accessible surgery for district and rural populations in Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.
Our team on the ground gives an overview of how SURG-Africa looks and works in Zambia
This video illustrates the experience of running SURG-Africa (Scaling Up Safe Surgery for District and Rural populations in Africa) in district hospitals in Zambia. SURG-Africa is a 4 year implementation research project (2016-2020) which aims to scale up safe accessible surgery for district and rural populations in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia. This is being achieved through establishing the effectiveness of a district level surgical supervision model, thus enabling surgeon specialists to be trainers and mentors of district hospital staff. SURG-Africa supports ministries of health from partner countries to scale-up district-level safe surgery country-wide.