Pediatric surgical camps as one model of global surgical partnership: a way forward

J Pediatr Surg. 2014 May;49(5):786-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.02.069. Epub 2014 Feb 22.


Background/purpose: A uniquely Ugandan method of holding surgical "camps" has been one means to deal with the volume of patients needing surgery and provides opportunities for global partnership.

Methods: We describe an evolved partnership between pediatric surgeons in Uganda and Canada wherein Pediatric Surgical Camps were organized by the Ugandans with team participation from Canadians. The camp goals were to provide pediatric surgical and anesthetic service and education and to foster collaboration as a way forward to assist Ugandan health delivery.

Results: Three camps were held in Uganda in 2008, 2011, and 2013. A total of 677 children were served through a range of operations from hernia repair to more complex surgery. The educational mandate was achieved through the involvement of 10 Canadian trainees, 20 Ugandan trainees in surgery and anesthesia, and numerous medical students. Formal educational sessions were held. The collaborative mandate was manifest in relationship building, an understanding of Ugandan health care, research projects completed, agreement on future camps, and a proposal for a Canadian-Ugandan pediatric surgery teaching alliance.

Conclusion: Pediatric Surgical Camps founded on global partnerships with goals of service, education, and collaboration can be one way forward to improve pediatric surgery access and expertise globally.

Keywords: Global partnerships; Surgical camps.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology* / education
  • Canada
  • Capacity Building / organization & administration
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Pediatrics* / education
  • Specialties, Surgical* / education
  • Uganda
  • Workforce