Operation Smile is thrilled to be a part of the much-anticipated 2023 COSECSA Conference, Graduation, and Annual Meeting—a yearly gathering arranged by the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA).

The event takes place in diverse locations across eastern or southern Africa, in close collaboration with esteemed organisations and national surgical societies. This year, it was held in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia from December 6-8,  in partnership with the Surgical Society of Ethiopia, around the overarching theme, “Technology, Innovation, and Surgical Care in Africa”.

Amid the pressing need for over 2.2 million additional surgical providers worldwide, Operation Smile stands tall in its commitment to supporting the next generation of medical professionals. Beyond its renowned work in cleft care, Operation Smile actively shapes the future of healthcare through education, mentorship, and strategic partnerships.

Empowering Surgical Leaders in Africa

In 2021, recognising the challenges in the current medical education system, Operation Smile forged a pivotal partnership with COSECSA, the largest surgical training institution in Sub-Saharan Africa. This collaboration focuses on addressing urgent surgical needs in the region by offering training programmes and an internationally recognised Surgical Qualification.

In 2023, a subsequent agreement further solidified the partnership, earmarking funding for the training of sixteen plastic surgeons in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years. This collaboration has already made a significant impact in Rwanda, increasing the number of plastic surgeons from two to five.

Women in Medicine Initiative: Breaking Barriers

Through its Women in Medicine champion programme, Operation Smile paves educational avenues for women to ascend as global leaders in healthcare. This innovative programme encompasses Women-Led Surgical Outreach Programmes, Medical Scholarships, Leadership Conferences, and Research Grants.

In a continued effort, Operation Smile’s Women in Medicine programme actively partners with Women in Surgery Africa (WiSA) to empower female surgeons in Africa. This collaborative initiative, centered on global surgery executive education, travel support for WiSA grant recipients, and access to leadership training, seeks to nurture the professional growth of WiSA leaders and propel the influence of female surgeons across the continent.

Operation Smile remains steadfast in its commitment to building a healthier, more equitable world. Through education, mentorship, and strategic partnerships, we help shape the future of healthcare, one empowered individual at a time.

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