SURG-Africa’s ‘mobile phone surgical clinic’ in Malawi, awarded with the first One Surgery Community Award
Yesterday, 30th of May, One Surgery announced the winners of its inaugural One Surgery Community Award - Voice of One Surgery 2018. Following a public vote, SURG-Africa and the mobile phone surgical clinic conducted in Malawi, was chosen for its excellence in Global Surgery, together with other three projects.
SURG-Africa will celebrate its closing event tomorrow 25th of May, on the international commemoration of Global Surgery Day and Africa Day. The event, called Leaving no one behind: Equitable access to surgery in rural Africa will discuss universal health coverage, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. The live webinar will be hosted by the Irish Global Health Network, from 1-2pm (Irish time).
To avoid unnecessary surgical referrals, it is essential to train surgical staff at district hospitals so they are able to perform a wider variety of operations, in a safe way. For that purpose, SURG-Africa has implemented a training system using local surgical supervisors.
Thanks to this methodology, millions of people have benefited in rural areas of Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. They are now able to receive high-quality surgical care closer to their homes, reducing the financial and emotional burden that referrals can put on households with scarce resources.
Due to the end of the project and with the intention of reaching everyone interested in Global Surgery, we will be tweeting our history and stories at @SURGAfrica.
Representatives from PORALG and professional associations viz AGOTA (OBGyn), SATA (Anesthesia), NATA (Nurses), MATA (Midwifery), Ophthalmology, and SURG-Africa Tanzania.
SURG-Africa supported development of a national operating theatre logbook for Tanzanian hospitals. Standardised data are necessary to plan for surgical services provision. By developing a national surgical data collection instrument we contributed to the improvement of the country’s Health Management Information System.
Although interest in Global Surgery is growing, it remains an under-researched area. That makes it difficult to foresee unexpected encounters when implementing research projects in this field. However, these unpredictable outcomes can be part of the beauty of research.
We have lost a friend.
Tanzania and the Global Surgery community has lost an amazing committed professional who traveled around the world looking for solutions to improve operation theatres and surgery in his country.
The SURG-Africa team is very proud of working closely with our partners to strengthen research capacity locally, and to support early career researchers in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. We congratulate and celebrate together with Judith Munthali and Musonda Mubanga on their recent graduation from the MSc in Public Health at the University of Zambia.
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.