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

RCSI/COSECSA celebrate 10 years of collaboration

24 November 2017

On 15 November, RCSI and COSECSA (the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa) held a reception at No. 26 York Street to celebrate 10 years of successful partnership between the two surgical colleges.

Over 100 invited guests attended the reception including RCSI Council Members, RCSI/COSECSA Steering Committee Members, diplomatic and Ministerial delegations from Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania and Liberia, as well as many RCSI staff and students who have supported the collaboration over the past decade.

The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon TD announced a third round of funding of €1.6 million from Irish Aid, the State’s international development arm, for the 2017-2020 activities of the collaboration. This brings the total amount of funding from Irish Aid to the RCSI/COSECSA collaboration programme to over €4m. The Minister also drew attention to some achievements of the collaboration to date including 206 specialist surgeons graduated and the development of bespoke IT solutions and training resources.

Prof. John Hyland, President of RCSI remarked on the excellent retention rate of surgeons trained by COSECSA with up to 93% practicing within Africa after graduation. He also highlighted the whole-college nature of the collaboration programme, and particularly commended the efforts COSECSA have made to promote surgical training to female doctors in the region through the launching of WiSA (Women in Surgery Africa).

Dr Miliard Derbew, President of COSECSA spoke of the high health burden caused by lack of access to safe surgery in the region and how COSECSA has become, with the assistance of the collaboration programme, the largest single contributor to the surgical workforce in the East, Central and Southern Africa region.

Celebrating the anniversary, President Hyland and Dr Derbrew co-wrote an opinion article (‘Solving Africa’s Chronic Shortage of Surgeons’) for The Irish Times website on the important healthcare contribution made by the RCSI/COSECSA partnership.

RCSI is ranked among the top 250 (top 2%) of universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. RCSI is a signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter.