President salutes E.A. Surgeons’ Association on Training

Thursday, December 5, 2019

President Yoweri Museveni has saluted the Association of East African Surgeons for the initiative and effort to customise surgical training putting into consideration the challenges and conditions that Africa faces. He stressed the need for the establishment of continental customised surgical training.

“There is need to establish Pan-African customised surgical training and rewards in recognition of that effort should be promoted because the training will go a long way in adding value to the trainees’ profession in their respective countries,” he said.

The President was speaking at the graduation ceremony of 212 surgeons from 21 African countries that took place last evening at Kampala Serena Hotel. 19 of the graduands are Ugandans. During the celebrations, the President was awarded an honourary Degree of Fellowship of Surgeons in appreciation of his commitment to the service of the country and the medical sector in particular.

The ceremony was also part of the College of Surgeons’ Conference, their Annual General Meeting whose theme was ‘Access to Safe Surgical Care: A Universal Perspective.’ The occasion also marked the 20th Anniversary celebrations of the College of Surgeons of East and Southern Africa (COSESCA) as well as the 70th Anniversary celebrations for the Association of Surgeons of East and Southern Africa (ASEA). The Irish Ambassador in Uganda, William Carlos and over 200 surgeons from all over the world were in attendance.

Mr. Museveni advised the medical fraternity to strategize medical attention on antenatal medical services so that expectant mothers deliver safely. He emphasized that antenatal medical services are a critical issue in the developing countries like Uganda and the African continent at large where women still deliver babies in health centres.

He also urged medical professionals to emphasize diseases’ preventive measures such as immunization, among others. He informed them that immunization has helped Uganda significantly to reduce child mortality rate since NRM took over power in 1986 so much so that national population has increased tremendously from 14 million to 42 million in three decades. “Implementation of mass immunization campaign totally brought down or eliminated the 6 to 10 killer diseases like polio, measles,” he said.

The President further advised the medical personnel on the essence of hygiene noting that it eliminates many common sicknesses. He also others observed that safe water for communities, good nutrition, control of vector and zoonotic diseases like Ebola, is crucial. 

The President also highlighted life-style health issues that trigger cancers as another big challenge to Africa.

“Obesity is one of the causes of cancer that has led most patients to go for medical tourism abroad. It has made people and government incur financial resource haemorrhage for heart, kidney treatment or transplantation and neuro surgery,” he said.  

He, therefore, called on the medical professionals to work day and night and ensure that the factor of disease prevention is addressed. “By sensitizing the people to make them aware that they have to eradicate all common sicknesses is important, like the case was in the past with regard to HIV/AIDS prevalence which brought down through emphasizing prevention”, he said.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, urged Surgeons to hold in high esteem their profession on top of subscribing to the College of Surgeons of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). She commended the efforts that have resulted in the training of over 450 surgeons by COSESCA in the past 20 years.

COSESCA President, Prof. Pankal Jani, commended key players and stakeholders for enabling the growth of the Surgeons’ Association noting that 70% of the 120 accredited hospitals, 90 of them are active training centres located in different rural location settings.

Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine, commended the professionals of the College of Surgeons for the guidance and professional human touch from which, she noted, Uganda, the region and the African continent will benefit. ENDS