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Training the next generation of African surgeons online


The award-winning online platform, created to help train surgeons across Africa, has gone from strength-to-strength in its first year.

PAPSEP is free-to-use and enables paediatric trainees in Africa to have direct access to online lectures and tutorials, where they can learn surgical techniques, pathologies and equipment tips from renowned surgeons around the world. 

Knowledge knows no borders 

The platform is being widely used across African countries. Currently 106 paediatric trainees from 16 different countries have signed up to the platform (39 from the COSECSA region, 63 from WACS and 4 from Rwanda). 

The trainees have enjoyed 27 self-guided modules, 6 forum discussions on Moodle, 3 live Zoom discussions, with more planned for the second year. 

Trainees are now saving children’s lives 

The first PAPSEP trainees have now officially graduated. They are now paediatric surgeons saving children’s lives across Africa. 

Currently, 7% of African children die before their fifth birthday because of lack of trained paediatric surgeons, equipment and operating rooms. Initiatives like PAPSEP are essential to tackling this issue. 

It’s truly a team effort 

PAPSEP would be nothing without the number of paediatric surgeons who contribute their expertise to training the next generation of surgeons. Currently, over 70 paediatric surgeons from 21 different countries are involved in the education programme. 

Tackling the current surgical workforce crisis in LMICs 

Lack of specialized surgical workforces is one of the biggest barriers to achieving Universal Health Coverage in low- and middle-income countries. For instance, in low-income countries, there is on average 1 specialist surgeon for over 3 million children. In high-income countries, the ratio is 1 specialist paediatric surgeon for every 47,000 children. 

PAPSEP trainees will perform a combined total of approximately three million procedures for children over the course of their careers. These trained surgeons will have a life-changing – or indeed life-saving – impact for millions of children. 

PAPSEP, PAPSEP, the first Pan-African Paediatric Surgery E-Learning Programme, was created in partnership with the Institute of Global Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, WACS and COSECSA.

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