​Community Engagement & Involve​ments

3rd International Congress in Innovations for Global Surgery, 5-7 May 2024, Cape Town

The Centre for Global Surgery (CGS) and the University of Cape Town's Division of Global Surgery collaborated at the 3rd International Congress in Innovations for Global Surgery Conference, 5-7 May 2024.  CGS presented two abstract posters “ The risk Factors for Unresected Gastric Adenocarcinoma in South Africa: A National Cancer Registry Analysis" and “The role of indigenous knowledge healers in treating surgical conditions in the rural Eastern Cape", and participated in a panel discussion around “Ethics of Global Surgery Innovation", aiming to understand the complexities of implementing innovation as well as delivering a closing remark speech capturing the essence of the congress by embracing the philosophy of "ubuntu," emphasizing interconnectedness, community, and solidarity.​


Rural Healt​h Conference, 13-15 September 2023, East London, Eastern Cape

The Centre for Global Surgery Team presented at the Rural Health Conference and was won Best Panel Discussion  for the theme entitled - “Working with Indigenous Knowledge Healers to Improve Health and Well-Being in the Rural Eastern Cape".


Preparedness for Humanitarian Disasters Conference

27-28th May 2023, Cape Town, South Africa

This inaugural conference focused on preparation for humanitarian disasters through a journey of the lived experiences of Gift of the Givers (GOTG), the largest African disaster response team with over 3 decades of experience assisting over 45 countries.

Over 400 attendees hailed from South Africa and  beyond. Topics covered included armed conflict, natural disasters such as the recent earthquakes in Turkey, COVID and other international and domestic crises. Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, founder, and chairman of the GOTG and a South African hero, emphasised humanitarianism or service to humankind and their rapid support to all people in need, irrespective of race, religion, or creed. 


AfroSurg3 Conference: Strengthening grassroots advocacy and rural surgical care to achieve equitable access, 28th-29th September 2022,  Afrosurg 3, Cape Town, South Africa

The first day of the 2-day AfroSurg3 conference focused on Surgical Care in Rural Africa and The Role of the Community and the Patient in Improving Rural Surgery. The second day focused Identifying and understanding communities to include in surgical networks and Communities as change agents in surgical policymaking as it relates to their countries. In summary, Rural surgery needs increased retention strategies for the surgical workforce, training of non-specialist cadres and collaboration between the district, regional, and tertiary hospitals. We also need grassroots advocacy to increase the effectiveness of global surgery as a global health network. Stakeholders are pillars in lobbying effectively for better access to surgical care through national and international political awareness, funding, policy change and implementation.   

Ways forward                         

  1. Focus on prevention and screening at the community level
  2. Expand the rural surgical workforce by using non-specialists
  3. Promote adequate infrastructure and human resources for rural hospitals
  4. Adopt the use of telemedicine for better inter-hospital communication and training
  5. Improve grassroots advocacy and community engagement​

AfroSurg Collaboration: A Zimbabwean and South African capacity building seminar


The Centre hosted a 3-day research capacity building session with Dr. Shingai Nyaguse-Chiurunge, an anaesthetist and policy advocate for surgery in Zimbabwe. Dr. Nyaguse-Chiurunge was a critical member of a team in Zimbabwe that assessed surgical capacity in public sector hospitals nationally. The goal of the seminar was to strengthen her research capacity. Over the course of three days, several topics were recovered such as data analysis, interpretation of results, journal article presentation and writing, and reference management. These critical skills are much needed in order to disseminate knowledge at the global level, such as through publication in peer-reviewed journal articles. The results from this research are also intended to inform life-saving surgical capacity strengthening initiatives in Zimbabwe. The collaborative session further strengthened ties between CGS and the Zimbabwean National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anaesthesia Plan (NSOAP) task team. Enhancing partnerships in the Southern African region will contribute towards improving surgical care for all, an important component of universal health coverage.

Improving surgical care in Southern Africa ​through district hospital (DH) Strengthening, AfroSurg 2 Conference, 4-5 May 2021, Cape Town, South Africa​


AfroSurg2 which was held May 4-5, 2021 in Cape Town focused on improving surgical care in Southern Africa through district hospital (DH) Strengthening. The first day focused on South Africa with an opening by the chief operating officer of the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health, Dr. Saadiq Kariem, who emphasised the importance of surgical care in the Western Cape followed by presentations on DH surgical capacity, telemedicine DH solutions, South Africa NSOAP progress, the College of Medicine of South Africa support for DH surgical training, family physicians and their role in DH surgery.

The second day focused on the Southern African region. Five of six AfroSurg countries conducted some mapping of available surgical resources and most have shown a significant lack of human and physical resources for surgical care. A health system strengthening talk emphasised the need to improve surgical services within the larger context of the larger health system and to consider the WHO building blocks of governance, health workforce, service delivery, health information systems, access to essential medicines and financing.

The AfroSurg collaborative has been highly successful at networking surgical stakeholders to improve surgical care in Southern Africa. Baseline data on DH surgical capacity from all countries has been partially collected but more complete information is needed in order to lobby policymakers to improve decentralised service delivery. AfroSurg has several publications but more research capacity building is needed for its members.

AfroSurg Conferen ce: “Afro​Surg: A Network to Improve Equitable Access to Safe and Timely Surgical Care in Southern Africa ​

Afro3.pngThe initial AfroSurg Networking conference was held on the 16-17th of January 2020, at Stellenbosch University, in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference representatives consisted of 44 key stakeholders from Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom including surgeons across various fields, anesthesiologists, anthropologists, rural doctors, medical students, public health specialists and research fellows.

The overarching goal of the conference was to establish the network as a collaborative partnership to improve surgical care in the southern African region.

By identifying gaps in knowledge and prioritising research directions, the network will for the first time create regional recommendations for stronger surgical systems an important component of universal health coverage.