After a long time of mutual preparation we have started our collaboration with the Dutch Surgical Society (NVvH) this year. Together we aim to support the Liberian postgraduate program for residents and fellows in general surgery. As there is no subspecialty training in country available yet, and also most subspecialties have only one specialist in country, there is a gap in training them in depth in specific specialized topics. Therefore we started a collaboration with the Dutch Surgical Society (NVvH), through whose vast network and experience the Liberian residents, fellows, and even the consultant staff can profit. The Dutch association NVvH has agreed to support a pilot phase of three years during which period we shall organize multiple training modules on various surgical topics, including surgical oncology and trauma. The modules, and the topics to be addressed within each module, will be designed in close collaboration with and based on the demands of the surgical staff of JFK Hospital in Monrovia and Jackson F Doe Hospital in Tapita, where residents have started with their short term rural rotations.
This February (2023) we kicked off this collaborative project with the first module consisting of two weeks of teaching surgical oncology by prof Inne Borel Rinkes from UMC Utrecht, and surgical registrar and former Masanga Hospital Medical Superintendent Tom Gresnigt (UMC Groningen), who will continue to lead this project from the NVvH side. The first week was spent in JFK in Monrovia, the second took place in Tappita. A total of 17 presentations, regularly followed by animated discussions, were given, (grand) rounds were made together with the residing staff and residents/fellows, and several operations were observed. The visit was highly appreciated, according to the feedback we obtained from the evaluation forms. Hence, we believe this to have been a successful start of a fruitful collaboration between CapaCare, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Heelkunde, Liberian College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the surgical departments of JFK Hospital Monrovia and JFD Hospital Tappita.