Global Surgery Program


Winter Progress Report

MUSC-VCU-PAACS Kenya Update 

trip to kenya
Medical student & Global Surgery Program council member Habib Rafka (second from right, next to Mike M. Mallah, M.D.) was awarded an MUSC Global Health Scholarship to join Dr. Mallah in Kenya and work to improve surgical education for LMICs  

The Medical University of South Carolina’s Global Surgery Program conducted its first field visit alongside Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Department of Surgery and the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) to re-think the current surgical resident case-logging system. PAACS oversees 23 resident training programs spanning 11 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their 153 graduates of the program serving in low-resource settings in Africa and 150 residents currently training in general surgery (majority), orthopedics, pediatric surgery, OB/GYN, neurosurgery, and anesthesia.

Through our collaboration with PAACS and VCU, we aim to develop a simple, education-focused, surgical resident case logging system for all PAACS hospitals. Reliable tracking of surgical cases will help guide surgical education and improve future collaborations between PAACS, other LMICs, and HICs.

During the first four days of the trip, the group attended the annual PAACS Basic Science Conference where there was faculty and resident representation from most of the 23 training sites. They focused their time at the conference on hearing from program directors and faculty. Afterward, the group conducted site visits at three major PAACS-affiliated hospitals: Kijabe Hospital, Litein Hospital, and Tenwek Hospital. While at the hospitals they focused on hearing from the surgical residents and observing the workflow of the current case logging system.

Reflections from Habib Rafka, M2: 

"Kenya is a beautiful country with some of the nicest people I have ever met. One of the first things you will notice as you drive out of the capital Nairobi is the vast disparity in wealth, electricity, sanitation, and infrastructure which collectively impact health. Despite this, Kenyan surgical residents are very optimistic about their future. They have an inspiring sense of community and a strong calling to serve in neighborhoods they grew up in. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with them on this trip and in the future to better our understanding of surgical resident training both in the LMIC context, and in the US."

MUSC Global Surgery Program Council Member Leads Team at the Emory Morningside Global Health Case Competition

 MUSC Global Surgery team at Emory

Pictured left to right: Mohamed-Faisal Kassir, Shipra Bethi, Tammy Mahaney, Savannah Skidmore, Kaylee Simon, and  Adegboyega Adewale. 

Congratulations to Global Surgery Program council member Savannah Skidmore, M2 (third from the right) who represented MUSC at the Emory Global Health Institute Case Competition where she collaborated and problem solved to address the global maternal mortality crisis and led the team to the finals at the competition! The Emory Morningside Global Health Case Competition brings together 29 teams from 6 countries and 4 continents to address global maternal mortality. The tea took fifth place. 

Emory Case Competition

Georgia Lydon Participates in Research at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Georgia LydonGraduating medical student and MUSC General Surgery-bound student Georgia Lydon traveled to Cape Town, South Africa on combined clinical/research experience. She will be the first of hopefully many students and residents to engage in a partnership between the MUSC Global Surgery Program and Stellenbosch University. Under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Chu, Director of the Centre for Global Surgery at Stellenbosch University, she is working on projects related to access to injury care electrical burns and colorectal cancer resection rates over a three-month period.