Capacity building program in minimally invasive surgery for developing countries

Despite the growing demand for training in minimally invasive surgery, there is no formal laparoscopic basic skills training program in Nigeria. Recently, the Nigerian postgraduate college of gynecologists recognized the importance of access to a laparoscopic training program for trainees and fellows and recommended action from local hospitals involved in training the next generation of gynecologists in Nigeria.

This recommendation is in line with the global trends towards the formal inclusion of laparoscopic training in post-graduate training curricula. The evolving environment for minimally invasive surgery using conventional laparoscopic equipment has made it imperative to introduce a structured training curriculum for teaching conventional laparoscopic techniques and procedures in a suitable simulated environment prior to transferring the gained experience into daily practice and live laparoscopic procedures. Such structured training program will also provide opportunities for maintaining the learned laparoscopic skills through continuing professional development programs.

This collaborative initiative between JUNIC and WHARC aims to provide gynecology/surgical specialists and trainees in Nigeria an opportunity to learn and/or update their fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery in a consistent, measurable and scientifically accepted format with the overall goal of developing the capacity of local surgeons to safely and confidently perform minimally invasive surgery. The training program detailed in this document is comprehensive, cost-effective and sustainable in the long term. The document also contains measurable endpoints and has been successfully implemented in Australia.

The first training program for minimally invasive surgery under this collaborative initiative will be held from January 3 to 5, 2018 in Benin City, Nigeria. Program activities will also include the performance of live laparoscopic surgery under the preceptorship of Dr. Uche A Menakaya and Dr. Lanziz Homar, Australian based advanced laparoscopic surgeons.