Zimbabwe Essential Surgical Training Programme (ZEST)


The RCSI/COSECSA Collaboration Programme Director (Roger Duggan – RD) met with the key members of COSECSA Zimbabwe and the SSZ to discuss how surgical training may be expanded outside of the traditional MMed / MCS/FCS models available in Zimbabwe. They have been exploring ways how surgical skills may be improved amongst medically trained doctors, especially in rural areas. This programme has also included the training of non-surgeons.

Problem Analysis
General Medical Officers (medical doctors or "GMOs") in rural areas are not sufficiently equipped with the surgical skills necessary to address the shortage of qualified specialist surgeons in rural areas. Specifically, GMO’s require training in awareness of what procedures they should attempt with the associated up-skilling in those procedures, which procedures they should not attempt, and for those conditions which they are unable to undertake, advanced referral techniques and solutions that will result in patients being referred to higher level hospitals / specialist surgeons in better condition.


Proposed Solution
Each doctor in all 8 provinces will receive 6 days residential intensive training. The course will be done in two parts at two different times. One will focus on general surgical techniques, the other on orthopaedics and trauma. The courses will be delivered by qualified consultant surgeons. It will be blended learning with

(1) pre-course on-line material
(2) six days of lectures and clinical cases and
(3) post course advanced learning material.

The courses will be examined and successful candidates shall be awarded a certificate of completion, to be awarded by both or either of COSECSA Zimbabwe and the Surgical Society of Zimbabwe.

A Project Manager will be appointed who will received some funding and who will be responsible for (1) proposal writing in conjunction with RD (2) Syllabus development with the SSZ/COSECSA Zim (3) the course logistics and (4) the provision of teaching material, both on-line and other.

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