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Surgery training moves one step closer

Plans to launch a surgical training programme in Madagascar are moving one step closer, as final ratification is expected by the end of April.

SIM UK member Ted Watts is the senior surgeon at The Good News Hospital in Mandritsara, and is spearheading an exciting vision that will ensure this vital medical mission continues for years to come.

The hospital plans to train local Malagasy doctors in partnership with PAACS the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons which exists to disciple African Christian physicians and train them to be surgeons.

With very limited training opportunities and fewer than 100 surgeons serving the island’s 26 million inhabitants, the hospital has always relied on overseas missionary surgeons

“While we do very much welcome both junior and senior doctors from the UK joining us for a short time, at the heart of our plan is looking to the future, when some years down the line, we’ll have local, Malagasy surgeons who are mission-minded and providing high-quality surgical care,” explains Ted, who is sent by Beeston Free Evangelical Church.

The five-year PAACS training programme would give Malagasy junior doctors a qualification equivalent to a surgical qualification from the UK and include a discipleship curriculum to enable graduates to be gospel-minded, as well as highly-trained in their medical skills.

Dr Jesh Thiessen, Dr Marco and Dr Ted Watts (Marco and Jesh are new surgeons recently arrived at the hospital and the three surgeons will be the ‘faculty’ for the PAACS programme)

As Ted explains: “Alongside teaching the junior doctors the knowledge and skills they need, we can also model and teach them to be surgeons who are compassionate towards those they treat.

“We want our graduates to be those who love Jesus and love to tell others about him surgeons who take every opportunity that healthcare provides to share the good news.”

The programme has already been approved by the PACCS surgical council and the decision now needs final ratification by the PAACS board, which is due by the end of the month.

“We hope the programme will be a blessing to the whole country as graduates take this brand of highly-skilled, compassionate, mission-minded surgery to the furthest reaches of the island,” says Ted.

Dr Marco supervises Dr Tefy (a junior surgeon, hoping to be one of the first PAACS residents) along with Njara and Hulda, two of the Good News Hospital’s theatre nurses
  • The Good News Hospital hopes to launch its PAACS programme in January 2022.

Please pray

  • For rising Covid-19 numbers to be brought under control and God’s protection on hospital staff.
  • For God’s will to be done as the PAACS board meets later this month to make a final decision.
  • That the trained graduates would be surgeons who take every opportunity to share the good news with their patients.

By Kerry Allan

This was posted on 13 April 2021.

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