SOO - Structured Operative Obstetrics

The SOO course is utilized in sub-Saharan Africa to improve the management, technical and surgical skills needed to perform a C/Section as well as other obstetrical procedures.

Lack of emergency obstetrical services remains one of the principle reasons for high maternal and neonatal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Learners in surgical programmes are frequently called upon to provide services at a relatively early point in their career. The SOO Providers Course brings the concept of structured operative learning to early obstetrical training. The goal is to accelerate surgical proficiency.


The course has 3 components.

The first component consists of 2 interactive lecture sessions. These sessions include a review of basic topics in Obstetrical and Surgical care.

The second component consists of 3 practical sessions in which the learners practice:

  • basic surgical techniques; suturing and knot-tying,
  • operative vaginal skills; repair of cervical laceration and vacuum extraction,
  • Caesarean Sections skills.

Simple models and animal parts are used as teaching tools. Goat feet are used to practice skin closure techniques and beef hearts are used to practice uterine opening and closing because its muscle is similar to that of the human uterus. The first 2 components of the SOO Providers Course take place in a classroom.

The third component is a clinical practicum that takes place in the Operating Room. The learner performs 6 C/Sections under direct supervision, with detailed feedback from experienced clinicians, who are certified SOO instructors.