The College of Surgeons in East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) is an independent body that fosters postgraduate education in surgery and provides standardised surgical training throughout the region of East, Central and Southern Africa.
Formed in 1999, COSECSA is a non-profit making body that currently operates in 10 countries in the region: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Our primary objective is to advance education, training, standards, research & practice in surgical care in this region.
COSECSA delivers a common surgical training programme with a common examination and an internationally recognised surgical qualification.
COSECSA shapes and leads the training of surgeons in the Sub-Saharan region. We deliver a common surgical training programme with a common examination and an internationally recognised surgical qualification. Admission to the College is open to all registered medical practitioners who comply with the professional requirements for admission.
Training is undertaken in designated training institutions in the region. To increase the number of trained professionals that the region requires, COSECSA operates a “College without walls” that utilises all healthcare resources for training; including regional, missionary, and district hospitals. Before COSESCA was established, surgeons could only be trained in University based M.Med. programmes, which use limited centralised clinical resources (University Teaching or Central hospitals).
COSECSA currently has 2 programmes:
The Membership: A certificate of competence in surgery at General Medical Officer Grade (2 years training).
The Fellowship: A specialist qualification in General, Orthopaedics, Urology, Paediatric Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology, Plastic Surgery (all 5 years training) or Neurosurgery (6 years training).
Admission to the College is open to all registered medical practitioners who comply with the professional requirements for admission.
The College has the endorsement of the Ministries of Health and the Medical Schools of the region. COSECSA functions in cooperation with the South African and West African College of Surgeons, and maintains links with the Colleges of Surgery and Partners internationally.
- At a regional level, COSECSA sets surgical training standards and curricula, coordinates training courses, accredits training posts, examines trainees, and advises on surgical policy.
- At a national level, each country chapter trains and counsels trainees, provides input into national surgical policy and liaises with the local surgical societies.
In addition to its core functions, COSECSA, as an independent regional body, advises and leverages its regional presence to assist governments in implementing best practice in governmental health strategies, which is critical in facilitating the development of functional health systems in the region. As a trans-national body, it has the added advantage that it can leverage established national best practice to influence regional policy.