Equipping Surgical Care Providers with Leadership, Management and Advocacy Skills

by Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa in partnership with Johnson and Johnson and G4 Alliance launched the first Leadership, Management and Advocacy (LMA) training for surgical, anesthetic, obstetric and trauma practitioners in Africa to equip surgical care service providers with knowledge and skills in delivery of healthcare services.

The one week intensive programme (which attracted 42 participants from Kenya) was developed through a consultative and collaborative effort involving stakeholders and partners in surgical health and management training.

“This leadership course is exiting to me because it comes at a time when Kenyans have in the recent past been discussing about challenges in health care. It is therefore important to have the right people at the frontline: nurses, surgeons, anesthetists in this training,” said Patrick Mwai, regional director, East, Central and Southern Africa, International Collaboration for Essential Surgery.

Part of the training module requires participants to develop a Surgical Health Improvement Project (SHIP) based on a real issue or challenge within their specific health institutions through a twelve month mentorship programme together with the faculty.

In his address, Professor Pankaj Jani, the current President at the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa. (COCECSA) who was also the chief guest during the graduation ceremony on Saturday, October 27 appreciated the advocacy efforts on essential surgery by various stakeholders.

“Advocacy requires persistence and push. In 2013 and 2014, we advocated for inclusion of emergency and essential surgery into the Universal Health Coverage package and during the 68th World Health Assembly a resolution  was passed in 2015 by the World Health Organization member states to include emergency and essential surgery in the UHC program”  he said.

Human Resources for Health (HRH) is one of the core outcomes that Amref Health Africa wishes to achieve in its new five-year growth strategy to strengthen leadership and management capacities of health managers in the health sector in Africa.

“To attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC), countries such as Kenya will need to focus on developing and sustaining human resources for health by training them to become leaders who will transform the surgical field,” said Mette Kinoti, Amref Health Africa Chief Programmes Officer. “We also need to ensure that there is equitable distribution of surgical workforce in the country to provide the required health services”.

With its extensive network in Africa, Amref and has been working with Johnson and Johnson for the last 13 years on the Management Development Institute (MDI) leadership programme administered by the Global Business School. Since its inception in 2006, 1,338 participants from 41 African countries have graduated from the programme which begun in Kenya.


What they said:

“At the end of this programme, participants should be change agents, be able to identify issues and challenges within their organisations and take practical steps to provide the required solutions” – Professor Charles Mayaka, Faculty Coordinator, Amref Health Africa MDI and LMA programmes.

“I have learnt to be a manager, an advocate for better healthcare and most of all to implement change. It’s about time in this country we had change in the health care system. We need to make the public believe in the health system and promote health in all aspects possible” – Dr Mary Wanjiku Mwangi, Anesthesiologist, Kirinyaga County.

“At the end of this training module, participants will embark on developing a project that can bring change in surgical healthcare landscape with the assistance of the trainer in a 12 month consultancy programme that will eventually impact the health system” – Dr Louis Litswa, Chairperson of the Kenya Society of Anesthesiologists.

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