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Professor Chris Lavy has been awarded an honorary fellowship by the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA).

Prof Chris Lavy

COSECSA is the largest surgical training institution in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its work fosters postgraduate education in surgery and provides surgical training throughout the regions of East, Central and Southern Africa.

On receiving the fellowship, Chris said ‘When I worked in Malawi the late 90s the brand-new medical school was just starting to produce young doctors. We had 12 medical graduates the first year. We wanted to encourage some to do orthopaedics, but as we were only two orthopaedic surgeons in the whole country, we could not realistically start a post graduate training programme. We therefore met with surgeons from neighbouring countries and looked at the possibility of working together to set up a regional college of surgeons. 

‘After several years of discussions and fundraising we started COSECSA (the College Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa) in 1999, and three years later were examining the first four candidates in the membership level exam. Most passed. The growth in the organisation has defied expectations and COSECSA is now the biggest surgical training organisation in Africa. 

‘This year more than 200 took the Fellowship exit examination in eight specialties. The 25-year journey nurturing and supporting COSECSA has been a privilege and a joy, and it is an enormous pleasure to receive the honorary fellowship.’