The Innovation Project was initiated in Ethiopia in 2005 with six participating universities, including Gondar.
In 2006, the surgical department of University of Gondar was one of the six surgical libraries in the country to receive new surgical and medical books through a CNIS book shipment, donated by the Sabre Foundation. Gondar received 694 of the 4200 books, of a total donation worth $300,000.
The first CNIS run Essential Surgical Skills (ESS) courses were held in 2008, while the Structured Hernia Repair course was introduced in 2009. The Fundamental Interventions, Referral and Safe Transfer (FIRST) course was introduced in Gondor in the fall of 2010.
In February 2011, perioperative nurse instructors Genelle Leifso and Vickie Grandintti brought the CNIS SSSL nursing course to Gondar, teaching at the Gondar University Referral Hospital.Before the course, the instructors toured the OR, observing current practice and assuring that the instruction would be in the context of care.
The CNIS Gondar surgical skills teaching lab was inaugurated in 2008 and now regularly teaches ESS, Hernia Repair, and FIRST courses.
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