Addressing Malawi's surgical workforce crisis: A sustainable paradigm for training and collaboration in Africa

Javeria Qureshi, Sven Young, Arturo Muyco, Eric Borgstein, Anthony Charles, Wakisa Mulwafu, Carol Shores, Leonard Banza, Bruce Cairns, Asgaut Viste, Nyengo Mkandawire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The exodus of health professionals including surgeons from sub-Saharan Africa has been well documented, but few effective, long-term solutions have been described. There is an increasing burden of surgical diseases in Africa attributable to trauma (road traffic injuries), burns, and other noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, increasing the need for surgeons. Methods: We conducted a Descriptive analysis of surgical academic partnership between Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) Malawi, the University of Malawi-College of Medicine, the University of North Carolina in the United States, and Haukeland University Hospital, Norway, to locally train Malawian surgical residents in a College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) approved program. Results: The KCH Surgery Residency program began in 2009 with 3 residents, adding 3 general surgery and 2 orthopedic residents in 2010. The intention is to enroll ≥3 residents per year to fill the 5-year program and the training has been fully accredited by COSECSA. International partners have provided near-continuous presence of attending surgeons for direct training and support of the local staff surgeons, while providing monetary support in addition to the Malawi Ministry of Health salary. Conclusion: This collaborative, academic model of local surgery training is designed to limit brain drain by keeping future surgeons in their country of origin as they establish themselves professionally and personally, with ongoing collaboration with international colleagues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)272-281
    Number of pages10
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


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