CNIS’ surgical skills labs increase Africa’s capacity to train and certify physicians, surgeons, and other health professionals in obstetrical and surgical procedures. CNIS has since completed skills labs in Gondar and Jimma, Ethiopia, Mbarara, Uganda, Blantyre, Malawi and Moshi, Tazania. The next lab to be established will be located in Kampala, Uganda.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The surgical skills labs were developed through the Ethiopian Innovation Project in 2005-2007. These centres increase Ethiopia’s capacity to train and certify physicians, surgeons, and other health professionals in obstetrical and surgical procedures. When the Addis Ababa skills lab was inaugurated in 2007, it was the first of its kind in Africa.
On February 21st, 2007, the Canadian Ambassador to CIDA, M. Yves Boulanger officially opened the Surgical Skills Lab located at the heart of the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa. In 2009, CNIS helped establish a high quality video link between Operating Room 7 and the skills lab. The video link allows for both open- and laparoscopic surgery to be shown live, while procedures can be recorded, edited and stored on a peripheral hard drive.
The Addis lab was furnished and updated with new equipment by the CNIS, as part of our objective to make the Addis Ababa lab a regional centre. CNIS officially handed the upgraded lab over to the Addis Ababa University Department of Surgery in November 2010. In addition to CNIS courses, the lab will be used for laparoscopic, urology, gynaecology and anaesthetic training.
In 2006, Uganda’s first skills lab was inaugurated in Mbarara. The lab has run continuous courses there since, increasing the country’s capacity to train and certify physicians, surgeons, and other health professionals in obstetrical and surgical procedures.
The Gondar lab officially opened in 2008. Essential Surgical Skills (ESS) courses have been conducted by the Gondar staff, but these were the first workshops for CNIS. An ESS Instructors Course and a Hernia Repair Instructors Course were conducted in the surgical skills lab in Gondar in February 2009. 22 ESS Instructors and 15 Hernia Instructors were certified. The courses were well received and professionally organized by Dr. Gashaw, the ESS Director, Dr. Amezene Tadesse, ESS Co-Director and Dr. Mensur, the ESS Patron in Gondar.
The Jimma lab, established in January 2010, is the third surgical skills lab in Ethiopia, following Addis Ababa and Gondar. The lab has video internet connection to the operating room, so students at all levels will be able to practice skills and observe live surgery from the laboratory. The skills lab further strengthens Ethiopia’s capacity to teach safer surgery and obstetrics.
The long anticipated move to a new CNIS teaching venue in Moshi finally became a reality in August 2011. The Moshi Surgical Skills teaching laboratory is situated on the second floor of the in new Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College building. The teaching room is bright, airy, quiet and very spacious, compared with the old and often distractingly noisy multipurpose lab that had been used for the last five years. CNIS proceeded with furnishing and upgrading this facility together with our colleagues in the Department of Surgery K.C.M.C. and our Ottawa partners, to fully equip the lab for future teaching. This is a very important step forward for surgical skills training by CNIS and its partners at K.C.M.C.
CNIS has established a location for our future surgical skills teaching lab in Kampala. The site, previously used for animal cages, has not been in use for the past 15 years. The CNIS Essential Surgical Skills Patron for Kampala, Dr. Samual Kaggwa is seen here with Dr Olivia Kutuuka before the dismantling of the cages and renovations began in September 2011.