The African Canadian Committee for Essential Surgical Skills (ACC-ESS) identified an urgent need for training non-specialist practitioners to perform hernia repair operations, due to the high frequency of hernias in rural populations in Africa. To meet this need, the CNIS designed the Structured Hernia Repair course. A pilot course was conducted in July 2002 at the Mulago Hospital in Uganda. The course has been taught in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mbarara, Uganda and most recently in Butare, Rwanda.
The one-day Structured Hernia Repair course for instructors presents the didactic material including lectures and interactive teaching sessions to surgeons who wish to become certified. The instructors course also guides the surgeon to learn and practice the lectures, exercises and hands on simulations that the learner will use. The five-day Structured Hernia Repair course for providers progresses from interactive lectures to surgical simulation, and then continues to clinical instruction with actual patients in the operating room. The learner operates on patients under the supervision of the specialist surgeon.