From the onset of the team that is represented by this blog, a deeply-felt calling has been not only to provide excellent healthcare for those who might not otherwise have access to it, but also to train others, namely African nationals, to do the same. Over the past nearly 10 years here in Burundi, this has systematically progressed from teaching medical, anesthesia, ophthalmology, and nursing students, to teaching newly graduated doctors in our Stage Professionelle program. And now a new level of training has begun.
In September 2022, after about 6 years of curriculum development, dozens of official and unofficial meetings with stakeholders, ministers, and medical educators, and lots of prayer, we officially launched a 5-year Surgical Residency Program here at Kibuye Hope Hospital. The program is unique in that it is a joint effort between 2 partners: Hope Africa University and PAACS. Hope Africa University provides academic support and in-country recognition/legitimacy in the form of a Masters Degree in General Surgery. PAACS (The Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons) provides international recognition, curriculum and conference support, as well as financial underwriting of the program.
In a country which is among the most surgeon-deficient in the world, the training of local doctors, in their own country, in a hospital with a high surgical patient load, is sorely needed. Two residents started the program in September 2022, and two more joined them just this month. We hope to enroll 2 new residents each year.
Last weekend, a special ceremony took place in which the 4 residents were presented with white coats as well as their 2-volume surgical text which will serve as the core of their reading material over the next 5 years. Families, friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate the commencement of this program, also reflecting upon the great responsibility the residents have undertaken.
Our hope is not only to develop excellent surgeons who will provide decades of competent and compassionate care for patients here in Burundi, but we also pray that their care for patients would be deeply molded by their faith in Jesus. May they be kingdom-builders in exercising the gifts and opportunities that God has given them.
Our hearts are full of gratitude for all those who have supported the conception of this program through giving advice, prayers, encouragement, and technical and financial support – and for all who continue to make this program possible.
|Part of the 250 page dossier submitted to the Ministry of Education|
|The 4 new surgery residents|
|A foot washing ceremony attempting to model the type of surgeons we want them to become|
|The 4 surgical residents and 4 surgeons|
Congratulations. Your hard work paid off.
There’s no way to know how many persons will be blessed by the new, well educated surgeons in the country.
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