KAMPALA – The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, has said the country is faced with shortage of specialist surgeons, which has seen a number of patients being referred abroad.
She said that for a population of 42 million, Uganda has only five paediatric surgeons and eight neuro surgeons.
“Right now Uganda has constructed a number of speciality hospitals but we do not have the surgeons to work in these specialty hospitals we already have a pediatric hospital that will be commissioned in April next year but we only have five pediatric surgeons so who is going to run that hospital,” Dr Aceng said.
The Minister said currently government is training more surgeons and some are enrolling in different medical fellowships.
She waswas speaking at the graduation ceremony of 212 surgeons from 21 African countries that took place at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday. 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 20thAnniversary 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.
President Museveni 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.