Emmanuel A. Ameha, Olusanya Adejuyigbeb, Paul T. Nmadu
Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2006
"Background: Pediatric surgery is a well-established specialty in many developed countries, but little is known about the status of the specialty in most developing countries. Method: The status of pediatric surgery in Nigeria was reviewed. Result: Nigeria currently has an estimated population of 126 million people with a growth rate of 2.8%, one half of whom are children. Pediatric surgery is a well-recognized specialty in the country. At the moment, there are 35 trained pediatric surgeons but only 26 are fully functional (1 pediatric surgeon:2.2 million children). Most of the available pediatric surgeons are in tertiary hospitals in major cities and towns. There is a well-established formal training program and certification run by the West African College of Surgeons; it takes an average of 4.5 to 6 years to train in pediatric surgery, 2 years of which must be spent in general surgery. Only 1 to 2 trainees graduate every year, and there are less than 10 trainees in the 5 accredited training centers at the moment. Funding for training is poor, and pediatric surgical research receives little or no funding. Conclusion: There is a need for more pediatric surgeons in Nigeria. More trainees need to be mentored and encouraged to take up the specialty. Collaboration with centers in developed countries and other parts of Africa and improved funding are necessary to improve the profile of the specialty."