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.
SURG-Africa team members ⎯coming from England, Ireland, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia⎯, gave a total of eight presentations in two days:
Wednesday 14th, August
Coming from RCSI, the Project Coordinator Jakub Gajewski, talked about the state of anaesthesia at district level hospitals in Africa and about the utility of certain tools to measure the productivity that surgical providers have in Sub-Saharan countries (surgical capacity indices – a poor predictor of surgical productivity in African district). Our colleague from Oxford, Grace Le, presented the participatory methodology used to design a surgical training and supervision intervention for district level hospitals in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. The last presentation on the day was given by Mweene Cheelo, who talked about the changes over time in surgical capacity at district hospital in Zambia.
Thursday 15th, August
Our Malawian colleague, Gerald Mwapasa, gave two presentations, one on effective and safe surgical task-shifting and another on the initiative of using a WhatsApp Group Forum to improve rural population access to specialist surgical care in Malawi. Adinan Juma presented findings pertaining to the capacity of district-level health facilities in Tanzania to provide surgical services. Afterwards Chiara Pittalis closed the showcase of the SURG-Africa interventions presenting our research on the patterns and appropriateness of surgical referrals in Malawi.
“It was great to connect with researchers working in similar areas, and to share lessons learned from our participatory and action-learning approach to strengthening surgical care, especially as reaching the goal of universal access to safe surgery is a collaborative effort with much to learn from one another.'' explained Grace Le.
“SURG-Africa is helping the new generation of healthcare providers to offer quality assured and timely access to surgical care in the rural areas of Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. It was great to share the lessons learnt from the projects we have been involved in for the past couple of years with others working in the area of global surgery”, added Mweene Cheelo.
The WCS is the biannual meeting of the International Society of Surgery (ISS) and provides a platform for education of surgeons, surgical trainees, medical students, and members of surgical teams from across the globe. Global Surgery has been one of the main topics at this year's event.