Recently published surgical books are always in short supply for medical students in Africa. Though the students know their material, the books they study with are often dated and lacking in current surgical and obstetrical information. As part of our African Information Program, CNIS endeavours to provide new medical books to Africa.

CNIS has organized shipments of nearly one million medical books to Africa. The books are donated by the Sabre Foundation on condition that CNIS donate them to our African partners. Together with the Donner Canadian Foundation, CNIS funds the preparation, transport, distribution, fees and travel costs for the personnel that take inventory and distribute the books on the African continent.


The CNIS Book Projects


Violet with Books for Uganda

From book sorting in Kampala 2010. Photo © R. Lett


$435,424 worth of new surgical books were shipped to Kampala, Uganda in March 2010.  The books were sorted by the Injury Control Centre – Uganda and distributed to eleven surgical libraries in Kampala, Gulu and Mbarara.







nursing books sorted

Dr. Respicious Boniface and students during book sorting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2008. Photo © R. Lett

With the support of the Donner Canadian Foundation, CNIS coordinated a book shipment to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2008. The shipment contained 10 pallets (400 boxes) of books, valued at $125,000, including 7719 volumes on topics including medicine, nursing, surgery, radiology, anatomy, trauma, neurosurgery, physiotherapy, dentistry, anesthesia, ophthalmology, and critical care. With the help of three enthusiastic students, as well as ICC-T Director, Dr. Boniface, inventory was taken and distribution was organized to ten surgical libraries in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, and Moshi.

The books were donated by the Sabre Foundation.







Dr. Peter McLean and Black Lion Hospital staff sort books in Addis Ababa, 2006. Photo © R. Lett

In 2006, the first container of medical books from CNIS, valued at $300,000, was sent to Ethiopia. The books were stored at the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa. The Dean of Medicine at the Addis Ababa University and CNIS board member, Dr. Peter McLean and his wife Adrienne assisted with sorting. A total of 4200 books and 4030 titles were distributed amongst the country’s six medical schools, located in Addis Ababa, Jimma, Gondor, Awassa, Alemaya and Mekele.


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