Virtual Town Hall: A Conversation on Surgical Systems and COVID-19 Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa

On May 13, experts from the global surgical and anesthesia community convened for a Virtual Town Hall on surgical system preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Missed the discussion? Watch the video above, and send questions to 

Thanks to co-hosts Lifebox, the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), West African College of Surgeons (WACS), the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), and the Pan-African Paediatric Surgical Association (PAPSA)

Resources Referenced:
1. The Annals of Surgery Article on the Perioperative COVID Response in Sub-Saharan Africa
2. COVID-19 Surgical Patient Patient Checklist
3. Smile Train COVID-19 Resources List


Dr. Esther, Moderator

Dr. Esther Nyambura Njoroge

As Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Esther oversees the growth and maintenance of Smile Train’s partnerships and programs across all of Africa. She represents Smile Train on the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (CSEM) Advisory Group for UHC2030 and has served in the Technical working Group for Kenya’s National Surgical Obstetric, Trauma and Anesthesia plan.

Dr. Neema Kaseje

Dr. Neema Kaseje

Dr. Neema Kaseje is a trained pediatric surgeon and public health specialist. She is Founding Director of the Surgical Systems Research Group based in Kisumu, Kenya. She is committed to global health equity and improving access to surgical care as a pathway to rapidly achieving Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Her previous work has included implementing a capacity building program for pediatric surgical care provision in Haiti in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health. Furthermore, she successfully implemented a project training Community Health Workers to identify and refer pediatric surgical cases to the formal health system in Western Kenya. She has led hospital assessments to evaluate the capacity to deliver safe surgical care globally. She is actively involved in the Global Initiative for Children's Surgery, and the Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care at the World Health Organization (WHO). She is committed to youth in Africa and recently launched a regional Hackathon bringing together young people from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to explore technology solutions that would rapidly increase access to surgical care in the region. She is a surgeon with MSF and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2017.

Professor Godfrey Muguti

Professor Godfrey Muguti

Professor Godfrey Muguti occupies the Professorial Chair in the department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. He is also Clinical Professor of Surgery, Stanford University, USA and is a member of the Board of Directors at the Avenues Clinic, Harare, where he is the Medical Director. He was elected President of the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) in 2019.

Professor Adesoji O Ademuyiwa

Professor Adesoji O. Ademuyiwa

Professor Adesoji O. Ademuyiwa is a Professor of Surgery at University of Lagos and Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. He is the Director of the National Institute of Health Research Global Surgery Unit of Lagos Hub, and he serves as Executive Secretary of the Pan Africa Paediatric Surgery Association.

Dr. Jolene Moore

Dr. Jolene Moore

Dr. Jolene Moore is a Consultant Anaesthesiologist in Aberdeen, Scotland, where she is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer and coordinator for Global Health and Humanities at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Moore is a WFSA(UK) Trustee, Obstetric co-lead for the WFSA and AAGBI’s SAFE initiative and executive member of the UK World Anaesthesia Society. She has conducted Lifebox and SAFE training throughout Africa and Asia, volunteered with Mercy Ships Safe Surgery Program, and directed capacity building, safe surgery and anaesthesia education programs in East Africa.

Prof. Peter Donkor

Prof. Peter Donkor

Prof. Donkor is the 1st Vice-President, West African College of Surgeons, President. Ghana Cleft Foundation, and Director, KATH Cleft/Craniofacial Clinic.

Having practiced cleft surgery for over 25 years, he became a Smile Train partner in 2003. In 2005 the American Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Association (ACPA) elected him as Visiting Scholar and Member of the ACPA International Outreach Committee.

He is a leader in cleft care and was the Foundation President, Pan African Association for Cleft Lip and Palate (PAACLIP). He also partnered the Seattle Children’s Hospital to establish the PACT initiative for advancing team cleft care in Africa. He has mentored several cleft practitioners, surgeons and researchers across Africa.

His research interests include cleft lip and palate, head and neck surgery, global health, medical education, and injury control. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications to his credit.