Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Key achievements of the RCSI/COSECSA collaboration

Training and development

  • Increased number of surgical graduates: COSECSA has graduated 158 specialist surgeons, with 391 (September 2016) current surgical trainees in 94 accredited training hospitals.
  • Train the trainer: Standardisation of surgical training across the region through the training and development of over 300 surgical trainers, including 28 master trainers.
  • Basic science faculty development: 27 surgeon basic scientists completed three-year training programme, this cadre now delivers basic science short courses for surgeons throughout the region.
  • Fellowship level seminars: Nine seminars held in orthopaedic surgery and general surgery.
  • Essential surgical training: Over 100 non-physicians trained in basic surgical techniques in rural Zimbabwe, Zambia and Rwanda.



  • Support for COSECSA examinations:Joint development of examination standard operating procedure. Collaboration on delivery of pre-exam seminar and MCQ writing seminar.
  • Court of examiners: Support the establishment of the COSESA Court of Examiners.
  • Examiner exchange: Annual exchange of examiners and external examiners since 2009.


  • School for surgeonsJoint development and administration of an Africa-centric surgical e-learning platform SchoolForSurgeons. Launched with a mandatory online training programme.
  • Interactive map: Assists all stakeholders in surgery in the COSECSA region by showing the precise location of every surgeon in the 10 countries of the COSECSA region and much more. Developed with ICES.
  • Electronic logbook: Mobile optimised logbook which allows all COSECSA trainees to record their operative experience. Vital for assessment and quality assurance, this is the largest repository of surgical trainee operative data in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • WHO emergency trauma care e-learning tool: Highly interactive e-learning tool for non-surgeon cadres performing basic surgery and anaesthesia in LMICS. Developed with WHO EESC.
  • Website development: The COSECSA website serves as an information hub for all COSECSA trainees, members, fellows and partners. It provides online registration for MCS and FCS training and examinations, information on short courses and affiliated training hospitals/surgical societies.
  • Mobile surgical skills training unit: One of a kind mobile training unit with surgical simulation technology which is used to provide training across the region.
  • Development of IT labs and surgical training DVDs: Equipped 26 IT labs and produced five training DVDs to 2014.
  • Mobile surgical training app: Coming soon!



  • Staffing: Supported growth of COSECSA Secretariat in Tanzania, including full-time CEO. Supported recruitment and cost of staffing in COSECSA.
  • Information management: Administrative collaboration and training; establishment of information management system and registration systems.
  • Income generation: Substantial increase in COSECSA revenue, putting COSECSA on path towards financial sustainability.
  • Brand development: Assisted in promotion of COSECSA regionally and internationally, development of online and print materials.



  • Surgical workforce mapping: Joint creation, population and verification of a database containing information on every surgeon in the COSECSA region. Publication and dissemination of appropriate data.
  • Surgical retention: Analysis of retention rates of surgical graduates across the COSECSA region.


Policy and advocacy

  • Women in surgery Africa: Support for the development of a peer support group WiSA, which promotes, facilitates and enables women surgeons to take up leadership roles and positions in the COSECSA region.
  • World Health Assembly - resolution on surgery: RCSI and COSECSA advocated for the adoption of the first WHA resolution on anaesthetic and surgical care and are currently engaging with governments in the COSECSA region to ensure its effective implementation.
  • Lancet Commission on Global Surgery: RCSI and COSECA contributed to the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery's landmark Global Surgery 2030 Report and are committed to meeting the priorities set out by the Lancet Commission.