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.
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.
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.
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.