the history | current developments

The History

Each year the CNIS meets with partners to review the progress of educational activities, issues of course management and also to critique and update curriculum. In 2000, the African Canadian Committee for Essential Surgical Skills (ACC-ESS) steering committee met for the first time in Malawi. Participants included one member from Canada and two members from each of the four African countries where ESS was taught at the time: Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda. Since then, Tanzania, Mali and Rwanda have also joined.

Each African department of surgery where ESS is taught has a signed memorandum of understanding with CNIS. ACC-ESS requires that ESS instructors update their certification every 3 years. After the initial 3-day ESS Instructors Course, Instructors must take a 1.5-day refresher course to maintain certification.

From ACCESS Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2009. Photo © R. Lett.

In February 2009, the 7th ACCESS meting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 10 African surgery departments were represented: Addis Ababa, Gondar, Jimma & Awassa from Ethiopia, Dar Es Salaam & Moshi from Tanzania, Mbrara, Gulu & Kampala from Uganda and Butare from Rwanda. The CIDA Director from the Canadian Embassy met the participants and discussed development issues.

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Current Developments

Dr. Lorraine Woolford with obstetrics from Kampala, Mbarara, Kigali and Butare review EOS and SOO. Photo - Mbarara, Uganda 2012. Photo © R. Lett

The 2012 ACCESS meeting was held in Mbarara, Uganda from March 27-28th, hosted by Drs. Deo Bitahrao and Deus Twesige. CNIS has 5 surgical partners, 3 obstetrical partners and 2 injury control partners in Rwanda and Uganda. 14 African leaders of the CNIS who work in these institutions met together with three CNIS personnel, Lorne Braun, Program Associate,  Lorraine Woolford, Obstetrical Associate and Ronald Lett, International Director.

Presentations on surgical skills training in Gulu, Mbarrara,  Makere College of Health Sciences, Makere Department of Surgery, as well as on obstetrical training at Mbarrara, Makere, Kigali and Butare and from the Injury control Uganda and the Injury Prevention Initiative for Africa were all of very high caliber. The means of reporting and evaluation of course conduct were evaluated and reported and the following curriculum were critiqued: ESS, FIRST, SOO, EOS, SSSL for nurses, SSAR, SHR, EOM, and CSHI and TTT. The participants were highly engaged, gave constructive feedback on CNIS courses and evaluation methods, allowing professionals from the 11 different institutions to interact and learn from each other.

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