Grenville Peter Hadley and M. Mars
Pediatric surgery international, 2008
"Africa faces a triple burden of disease; HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Despite this, its population is expected to double over the next 45 years. There is a dire shortage of medical specialists and many countries lack suitably qualified doctors to train medical specialists. Videoconferencing offers the opportunity to share scarce human resources. In the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal there are only three paediatric surgeons who meet the clinical needs of the province and offer training in paediatric surgery to general surgeons in training. This paper reports an 18-month experience using videoconferenced postgraduate medical education in paediatric surgery in a South African setting. Seventy-one videoconference postgraduate teaching sessions of 1 h duration were broadcast to up to four sites in South Africa. Teaching sessions were in a lecture format with discussion thereafter. On average, 18 people at receive sites took part in each session in 2005 and 37 in 2006. There was universal satisfaction with videoconferenced teaching from those teaching and the participants at the distant sites. There is a demand to extend this project to other parts of South Africa and into Africa, where the shortage of paediatric surgeons is acute."