CNIS introduced our Safer Surgery and Obstetrics Program in Mongu in 2009. The program in Zambia includes courses for health practitioners both on instructor and provider levels.

CNIS always considered Zambia to be a possible site for our programs: the country is part of the College of Surgeons of East, Central & Southern Africa (COSECSA) and we have had informal invitations in the past. However, it was interest from a team of surgeons from Kelowna that made the first Essential Surgical Skills (ESS) course in Zambia a reality.

A group of surgeons and nurses from Kelowna has through strategic contacts with Zambia formed the Okanagan Zambia Health Initiative (OkaZHI). The Kelowna-based surgeons participated in the ESS Instructors workshop in Calgary, as well as the Surviving and Succeeding at Surgery in Africa course in Vancouver, in preparation for partnering with CNIS.

In October 2009, the first ESS Providers course in Zambia was held for practitioners from Western Province in Mongu. Drs. Bill Nelems, Gary O’Connor, Kim Lefevre and Glynn Jones, all Kelowna and CNIS surgical Associate, Dr. Robert Taylor facilitated the course with Dr. Andrew Silumesii of Lewanika General Hospital. BC nurses Lianne Jones and Jessica Barker, who had previously worked in Mongu, were charged with developing a concurrent training program for nurses. This proved to be very effective. As a result, 24 Zambian physicians, clinical officers, medical licentiates and nurse practitioners were certified.

The planning for the course included Dr. Sitali, the Chief Medical Officer for Western Province; Dr. Liywalii, the Medical Officer for Mongu District; Dr. Andrew Silumesii, the CEO of the Lewanika General Hospital; and Mr. Ikanuke Noyoo, the Permanent Secretary for Western Province.

“We will forever be grateful for the opportunity we have had to collaborate with such wonderful people as you. The CNIS course was simply a masterpiece and our memories of it remain engraved on our minds. We are so thankful for bringing the course to Mongu. Everyone really appreciated the course. We look forward to more collaboration.
Kind regards, Dr. Andrew Silumesii”

With the overwhelmingly positive response to the ESS course in the Western Province and with the obvious course applicability, Zambia will remain a priority for CNIS.

Safer African Communities

Zambia is a member of the Injury Prevention Initiative For Africa (IPIFA) and the Vice President of Finance and Fundraising, Dr. Robert Matonga, resides in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. The July 2011 IPIFA meeting was held in Zambia.