Health Ministers from countries in the Eastern, Central and Southern parts of Africa know what SURG-Africa is. We presented our supervision model at the 65th ECSA-HC Health Ministers Conference in Dar es Salaam.
With the launch of the Tanzania National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plan (NSOAP), sharing of experiences on multi-sectoral collaborations to address non-communicable diseases and discussions on how to translate research findings into policy, this year’s Health Ministers Conference was nothing short of activities.
During this three-day event, organised by SURG-Africa consortium member - the East, Central and Southern African Health Community (ECSA-HC), delegates from 9 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mauritius and Tanzania) were brought together to find common solutions to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
At a pre-conference networking meeting on the 18th of March with MoH representatives and other projects working in the surgical sector in Tanzania, the SURG-Africa team highlighted achievements to-date and briefed participants about upcoming activities for the intervention period in the upcoming years.
The following day our co-PI Dr Paul Marealle, president of the Tanzania Surgical Association, presented to the ministries of health from the ECSA region examples of innovative surgical training models being implemented at different levels of care in Tanzania to address the human resource gaps affecting the health sector and the increasing burden of surgical diseases. He explained how these models complement each other, demonstrating the benefits of working together towards common goals. The College of of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern African (COSECSA) runs training courses for specialists, who are usually posted at central hospitals in urban areas, while the SURG-Africa project is building surgical capacity at district level in rural areas of the country. All of these models contribute to the overall objectives of the new National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plan providing more competed surgical workforce in the region.
The meeting concluded with the ministers approved and endorsed a number of important resolutions calling, among other things, for renewed efforts in multi-sectoral responses to non-communicable diseases and for better leadership and governance for stronger health systems. Further information on the resolutions is available here: http://ecsahc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Resolutions-of-the-65th-HMC_Final-Adopted-version_210318-1.pdf