Challenges Facing Surgical Training in the Great Lakes Region in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Review Article

  • M. Galukande
  • S. Luboga
  • E. Elobu
Keywords: surgical training, challenges, sub-Saharan Africa


Background: There is a severe shortage of health workers in sub-Saharan Africa yet this subcontinent experiences a significant proportion of the world’s disease burden. This shortage is further reflected in the lack of personnel for surgical sub specialities such as orthopaedics, paediatrics, neurology and urology to mention but a few. Objective: This review therefore sought to summarize the current literature on the state of surgical training in sub Saharan Africa, discuss the challenges faced and the possible ways to overcome these challenges

Methods: We performed online searches of electronic databases i.e. PUBMED, MEDLINE and African Journals online that feature many African Journals not index by the ‘regular’ databases.

Results: The searches returned 88 articles and 24 of which were included in the review, we present results focused on; training capacity and methods, scope of practice, technology and surgery, and low research capacity and output.

Conclusion: The future of surgical training in Africa will depend on the ability of the leadership to create or and adopt innovative educational technologies, recruit and retain trainers and attract trainees on one hand and on the other, the growth of demand for quality surgical care in the great lakes regions. For those that have excelled in training need to build on those successes and share their stories.


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