World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 488–497 | Cite as

Surgery and Anesthesia Capacity-Building in Resource-Poor Settings: Description of an Ongoing Academic Partnership in Uganda

  • Michael Lipnick
  • Cephas Mijumbi
  • Gerald Dubowitz
  • Samuel Kaggwa
  • Laura Goetz
  • Jacqueline Mabweijano
  • Sudha Jayaraman
  • Arthur Kwizera
  • Joseph Tindimwebwa
  • Doruk Ozgediz



Surgery and perioperative care have been neglected in the arena of global health despite evidence of cost-effectiveness and the growing, substantial burden of surgical conditions. Various approaches to address the surgical disease crisis have been reported. This article describes the strategy of Global Partners in Anesthesia and Surgery (GPAS), an academically based, capacity-building collaboration between North American and Ugandan teaching institutions.


The collaboration’s projects shift away from the trainee exchange, equipment donation, and clinical service delivery models. Instead, it focuses on three locally identified objectives to improve surgical and perioperative care capacity in Uganda: workforce expansion, research, collaboration.


Recruitment programs from 2007 to 2011 helped increase the number of surgery and anesthesia trainees at Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda) from 20 to 40 and 2 to 19, respectively. All sponsored trainees successfully graduated and remained in the region. Postgraduate academic positions were created and filled to promote workforce retention. A local research agenda was developed, more than 15 collaborative, peer-reviewed papers have been published, and the first competitive research grant for a principal investigator in the Department of Surgery at Mulago was obtained. A local projects coordinator position and an annual conference were created and jointly funded by partnering international efforts to promote collaboration.


Sub-Saharan Africa has profound unmet needs in surgery and perioperative care. This academically based model helped increase recruitment of trainees, expanded local research, and strengthened stakeholder collaboration in Uganda. Further analysis is underway to determine the impact on surgical disease burden and other important outcome measures.


Mulago Hospital Academic Collaboration Senior Scholar Academic Partnership Medical Education Partnership Initiative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the Mulago Foundation, Grey Family Foundation, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Dean Sewankambo, University of British Columbia, The Laura Case Trust, Amalthea Trust, AAGBI, The Departments of Surgery, Obstetrics, and Anesthesia at UCSF, Ian Metzler, Ikeda Keita, John Okuonzi, Felicia Lester, Robert Wangoda, John Sekabira, GPAS Scholars and Senior Scholars, Sarah Nakitto, Monica Kabagambe, Medical Teams International, Nathan O’Hara, Jane Fualal, Kayvan Roayaie, Rochelle Dicker, Tony Roche, Stephen Kijambu, Sister Margaret Ajiko, Moses Galukande, and Piotr Blachut.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Lipnick
    • 1
  • Cephas Mijumbi
    • 2
  • Gerald Dubowitz
    • 1
  • Samuel Kaggwa
    • 3
  • Laura Goetz
    • 4
  • Jacqueline Mabweijano
    • 3
  • Sudha Jayaraman
    • 5
  • Arthur Kwizera
    • 2
  • Joseph Tindimwebwa
    • 2
  • Doruk Ozgediz
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative CareUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiaMulago Hospital and Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryMulago Hospital and Makerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  4. 4.School of Public HealthUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Pediatric SurgeryYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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