At Mbarara University of Science and Technology, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been dedicated to equipping doctors with advanced surgical skills. This has been achieved through the implementation of Essential Training in Operative Obstetrics (ETOO) courses, in collaboration with The Else Kloner Foundation based in Germany, as part of the ongoing efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity across African nations.

The most recent ETOO course took place from the 27th to the 29th of March 2024, at the surgical skills center of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. The primary objectives included the transfer of surgical expertise from seasoned specialists in obstetrics and gynecology to trainees, mentoring senior residents in surgical techniques, providing a secure space for trainees to practice on medical simulation models, fostering teamwork, and the course was led by Dr. Kayondo Musa, the Program Director.

This intensive 3-day workshop adopted an interactive approach centered on skills training. A variety of teaching methods were employed, such as brief lectures, discussions, simulations, videos, and supervised caesarean section operations facilitated by skilled trainers from Mbarara University of Science and Technology and resident obstetricians and gynecologists, including Dr. Kato Paul Kalyebara, Dr. Byamukama Onesmus, Dr. Kakama Caxton, Dr. Businge Julius, Dr. Leevan Tibaijuka, Dr. Brenda Ainomugisha, Dr. Edwin Semambo, Dr. Amos Muhumuza, and Dr. Bawakanya Stephen.

The improvement in surgical skills among the trainees was notable, especially in areas such as precise surgical knotting, suturing techniques, management of incomplete abortions using manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), neonatal resuscitation, interpreting a WHO partograph, identification and repair of perineal and cervical lacerations, performing safe caesarean sections, supracervical hysterectomy, and bladder repair for iatrogenic bladder injuries during C-sections.

Trainees underwent both pre- and post-course assessments, each trainee was assigned a mentor to oversee a minimum of 4 caesarean section procedures within 2 weeks post-workshop. The successful conclusion of the ETOO course was marked by a closing speech from Dr. Kayondo Musa, expressing gratitude to all participants, emphasizing the course’s significance, encouraging the application of acquired knowledge, and receiving the trainees’ acknowledgment of the course’s value. This initiative plays a crucial role in the broader efforts to decrease maternal mortality and morbidity in Africa.

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