Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Training doctors and surgeons to meet the surgical needs of Africa.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 26 September 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:761
  1. D A Watters,
  2. A C Bayley
  1. University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.


    An audit of the operations performed and the use of anaesthesia over one year at the University Teaching Hospital, two provincial hospitals, and five district or church hospitals in Zambia was carried out. The aim of the audit was to determine what proportion of operations required full surgical training and to collect information on which recommendations for training surgeons in central Africa could be based. Of the 21,245 operations performed, 18,401 (86.4%) were found not to be complex, and the procedures could be taught to non-surgeons. General anaesthesia was used often, but if more doctors were trained to give local and regional anaesthesia more necessary surgery could be performed.