American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

2019 ACS-COSECSA Women Scholars Program Winners

To help address the shortage of surgeons in Sub-Saharan Africa, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Operation Giving Back (OGB) program in partnership with the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA), recently launched the Women Scholars Program, which is intended to support women in their surgical residency.

This scholarship is intended to help cover the recipients’ educational expenses, including accreditation, fellowship examination, and five-year membership dues to COSECSA and the ACS.

Eleven women from Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi were recipients of the 2019 scholarships. The residents are as follows:

Anne Shikanda Wesonga, MD

Anne Shikanda Wesonga, MD

Dr. Anne Shikanda Wesonga received her undergraduate degree from Gulu University in 2011 and graduated from Makerere University in 2016 with her M. Med in general surgery. Dr. Wesonga worked as a general surgeon for one year before accepting her Fellowship in pediatric surgery, which has allowed for her to train in both Uganda and the University of British Columbia, Canada under the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). She has always loved children, hence opting to study pediatric surgery. Dr. Wesonga is from Uganda.


Clara Atieno Odhiambo, MD

Clara Atieno Odhiambo, MD

Dr. Clara Atieno Odhiambo is a general surgeon and endoscopist currently based at St. Francis Hospital Nsambya, a College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) accredited hospital in Kampala, Uganda, where she has worked for the past two years. Dr. Odhiambo also serves as an honorary lecturer for the Mother Kevin Postgraduate Medical School, which is based in the same hospital. She attained her undergraduate degree from Gulu University in Northern Uganda and completed her postgraduate studies from Uganda Martyrs’ University Nkozi in 2017. Dr. Odhiambo is a proud member of COSECSA. Apart from surgery, she is a dedicated wife and mother of two beautiful daughters. She enjoys singing and cooking for her family.


Gallina Kazobinka, MD

Gallina Kazobinka, MD

Dr. Gallina Kazobinka is Burundi’s first female urologist. She completed medical student in China at Jiamusi University in 2012, as well as her residency at Wuhan Union Hospital in 2017. Urology became a field of interest for Dr. Kazobinka after witnessing firsthand the many challenges faced by General Surgeons presented with urological pathologies in Burundi. After completion of her Fellowship of the College of Surgeons (Mozambique & Rwanda), Dr. Kazobinka intends to return to her home country to fill the gap in trained urologists.


Hanan Alebachew Yimam, MD

Hanan Alebachew Yimam, MD

DDr. Hanan Alebachew Yimam completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Gondar College of Medicine and Health Sciences School of Medicine in 2013. She then went on to complete her post graduate training in general surgery from St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2019 and recently began working at St. Paul’s as well. Dr. Yimam was inspired to help others who need medical care after bearing witness to her mother’s experience with Ethiopian surgeons during her battle with breast cancer, as well as her father’s experience with Ethiopian surgeons during his diagnosis with renal cell carcinoma. Dr. Yiman aims to study minimal invasive surgery in the future.


Hiwot Tilahun Anagaw, MD

Hiwot Tilahun Anagaw, MD

Dr. Hiwot Tilahun Anagaw was born in the rural Amhara region of Ethiopia. A lifelong student of medicine who had interest in medical school since grade 7, Dr. Anagaw received her MD in 2012 from Black Lion Specialized Hospital, Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia and served as Medical Director and General Practitioner at Mehal Medah Primary Hospital for two years. From there, she joined the general surgery department at St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia and graduated in 2019. Currently, Dr. Anagaw is working at Agew Gimjabet Primary Hospital as a general surgeon.


Kudzayi Sarah Munanzvi, MD

Kudzayi Sarah Munanzvi, MD

Dr. Kudzayi Sarah Munanzvi is an aspiring pediatric surgeon who completed her undergraduate degree in 2017 at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences and currently works at Harare Central Children’s Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. Dr. Munanzvi has been involved in establishing a short course in Pediatric Surgery for junior doctors and developing a new protocol for the management of patients with gastroschisis. She is also proud to have provided medical services for sex workers under the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research Zimbabwe (CeSHHAR). Dr. Munanzvi is passionate about surgical education and laparoscopy and hopes to one day be able to merge these two and share them with upcoming surgeons. Having been mentored by the most eminent pediatric surgeon in Zimbabwe, Bothwell Mbuwayesango, Dr. Munanzvi has not only gleaned meticulous surgical skills, but has also adopted his mantra that we can improve our outcomes by learning how to do simple things well.


Luwam Haile Yohannes, MD

Luwam Haile Yohannes, MD

Dr. Luwam Haile Yohannes, born and raised in Ethiopia, completed her MD from Mekelle University College of Health Sciences, Ayder Referal Hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia in 2019. She has been working for Mekelle University, Ayder Referral Hospital since 2010 where she has served as a general practitioner and also finished four years of general surgical residency. In addition, Dr. Yohannes worked for one year as a general surgeon and joined the pediatric surgical fellowship program with Addis Ababa University, Tikur Anbessa Referral Hospital. Dr. Yohannes is currently back with Mekelle University working alongside surgical colleagues to establish a pediatric surgical department. She has a special interest in neonatal surgery and because there is no university providing this training in Ethiopia, she will likely study out of the country.


Marta Seid Ahmed, MD

Marta Seid Ahmed, MD

Dr. Marta Seid Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of General Surgery at Debre Berhan University, Debre Birhan, Ethiopia. She completed her undergraduate degree in 2014 from Mekelle University School of Medicine, Tigray, Ethiopia, and then pursued general surgery training at St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 2015-2019. Dr. Ahmed’s parents inspired her to develop interest in medicine, which led to her lifelong dream of becoming a surgeon. She hopes to continue practicing surgery and while encouraging women into the profession and in surgical innovation and research.


Matumaini Hope Kibansha, MD

Matumaini Hope Kibansha, MD

Dr. Matumaini Hope Kibansha received her bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from Makerere University Medical School, Kampala, Uganda in 2009. Around this time, she then joined a district General Hospital in South Western Uganda, where she initially practiced as a medical officer for two years, later becoming the head of the same hospital. In 2014, Dr. Kibansha received her master’s degree in surgery from her alma mater, and in 2019, completed her Master of Science in Urology from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Moshi, Tanzania. At this time, Dr. Kibansha completed her Fellowship in Urology under the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). Dr. Kibansha’s current career interest is in reconstructive Urology. She is a Rotarian, enjoys nature walks, loves dancing, and takes pleasure in mentoring young doctors.


Patricia Shinondo, MD

Patricia Shinondo, MD

Dr. Patricia Shinondo is a pediatric surgeon who completed her undergraduate training in 2009 at the Kuban State Medical University, Krasnodar, Russia, where she quickly learned to adapt to challenging circumstances. This experience helped during her surgical training in the male dominated field of pediatric surgery under the University of Zambia, leading to her graduation as the first Zambian female pediatric surgeon in 2019. Dr. Shinondo is currently pursuing a fellowship with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and has a keen interest in research, surgical education and global surgery. She is part of the global pediatric surgery community seeking to improve access to children’s surgical care and provide safe surgery for children in low- and middle-income countries.


Takondwa Itaye-Kamangira, MD

Takondwa Itaye-Kamangira, MD

Dr. Takondwa Itaye-Kamangira attained her primary medical qualification, MBBS, from the University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi, in 2005. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in medicine general surgery from the University of Malawi, and a master’s degree in Surgical Sciences from the University of Edinburg, Edinburg, United Kingdom. In 2017, Dr. Itaye-Kamangira was awarded the Livingstone Fellowship in Breast and General Surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. She has collaborated on two papers published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology and World Journal of Surgery and presented at the Surgery365 in 2017 in Glasgow. Dr. Itaye-Kamangira is currently working as a General Surgeon for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi and has a special interest in surgical oncology.


Congratulations to this year’s winners!