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J Surg Educ. 2011 Sep-Oct;68(5):393-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

Teaching emergency and essential surgical care in Sierra Leone: a model for low income countries.

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  • 1Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), New York, New York, USA.



Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), a New York-based organization with a mission to save lives in developing countries, conducted a surgical needs assessment in Sierra Leone in 2008 which identified a large gap in surgical knowledge. We hypothesized that knowledge transfer could be improved by conducting workshops with significant local faculty participation.


Description of emergency and essential surgical care workshops (EESC) workshops and follow-up.


Freetown and Bo, Sierra Leone.


International and local health providers in Sierra Leone.


SOS organized EESC workshops in collaboration with significant local surgeons' support. Data on subsequent workshops were recorded.


Fifteen instructors were identified and assisted with teaching. Nine of the instructors were specialists from Sierra Leone. Each workshop lasted 3 days. Feedback was gathered after these workshops Subsequent to the SOS workshops, 8 other workshops were undertaken by local surgeons in Sierra Leone, 5 of which were organized and taught solely by local surgeons working for the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation. Three other workshops were organized with external support.


EESC workshops organized with significant local input are useful for knowledge transfer and empower local surgeons to conduct subsequent workshops on their own.

Copyright © 2011 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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