Surgical Skill, Providers and Infrastructure Needs Assessment in North Gondar, Ethiopia: A Mixed Method Study


  • Daniel Jenkin University of British Colombia, Department of Surgery, 3100-910 W 10th Ave Vancover, BC Canada, V5Z 4e3
  • Ronald Lett Canadia Network for international surgery. Suit #105-1985 weast Broadway Vancouver, BC Canada, V5Z 4e3
  • Gashaw Getahun University of Gondar, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Surgery Gondar Ethiopia
  • Mohammed Ali Center of International Health, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth West Australia, 6845 Australia



Background: The shortage of skilled surgical providers in Sub-Saharan Africa is reaching a crisis level.The Canadian Network for International Surgery has been delivering structured surgical skills courses in Ethiopia for 15 years. However, an assessment of met needs, and ongoing barriers to surgical care has never been done. Ethiopia has set out plans to expand surgical capacity at the district hospital levels through upgrading and building hospitals, and task shifting through a surgical health officer program. This study aimed to assess the met need for surgical infrastructure, providers, and educationin in North Gondar Zone, Ethiopia. Sub-objectives are to assess the perceived values of a structured surgical training courses, and to identify ongoing barriers to emergency surgery.

Method: This mixed-method of study employed: semi-structured interviews to surgical providers, a review of operative records, an infrastructure needs assessment. The research also used questionnaires which was distributed to medical trainees to assess the met needs, and to identify barriers to care.A total of190 trainees participated in the survey. In addition, 12 participants were involved in the interview from 4 hospitals. I n addition,  descriptive statistics were used to describe the study subjects and the surgical skill needs using tables and graphs.

Result: Emergency surgery was only performed in Gondar University Hospital with a met need for a cesarean section of only 15%. There was a severe shortage of both hospitals, and care providers in the zone. Lack of consumable emergency equipment was cited as the greatest barrier to delivering emergency care at the district level.

Conclusion: Shortage of providers, inadequate surgical infrastructure, and a severe lack of continuing skill improvement needs were observed.





How to Cite

Jenkin D, Lett R, Getahun G, Ali M. Surgical Skill, Providers and Infrastructure Needs Assessment in North Gondar, Ethiopia: A Mixed Method Study. Ethiop J Health Biomed Sci [Internet]. 2022 Sep. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 15];12(2). Available from:



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