THE SURGICAL Society of Zimbabwe (SSZ) has trained Matabeleland South provincial doctors under the Zimbabwe Essential Surgical Training programme designed to train doctors to be confident in handling surgical procedures.
The training programme was held on Saturday at Manama Hospital and SSZ president lsrael Dube said general medical officers in Zimbabwe’s rural areas were not sufficiently equipped with necessary surgical skills to help alleviate the shortage of qualified specialist surgeons.
“Matabeleland South and Mashonaland East provinces are our pilot projects in this training programme and we have trained 15 doctors and a clinical officer in this province at Manama and 18 doctors in Marondera,” he said.
Dube said the programme was conducted in collaboration with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa and the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.
“Coming out of the economic meltdown, the hospitals were not functioning well as the quality of service was way below standard for our population and our medical training institutions had shortages of books yet medical students must be doctors who are up to standard,” he said.
“We came up with this programme to concentrate on surgical skills that doctors lack to perform life-saving emergencies.
“This programme will benefit everyone as we fine tune doctors’ skills to minimise the number of people being transferred to central and provincial hospitals for surgery.
“We now want district hospitals to perform surgeries to avoid congestion in central hospitals.”
Dube said SSZ wanted to see as many senior doctors as possible at provincial and district hospitals to improve the country’s healthcare system.
Matabeleland South provincial medical director William Busumani thanked the specialist doctors for showing an interest in assisting rural doctors.
“It is so encouraging to see the doctors who also taught me imparting more knowledge and sharpening our skills to serve the community,” Busumani said.
“I would also like to appeal to the consultants to give us preferences because specialists this side are quite few compared to Harare.”