Training programme for women in sub-Saharan Africa to become T&O surgeons

Training programme for women in sub-Saharan Africa to become T&O surgeons

AO Alliance Stiftung

Sponsorship area

Development Cooperation, Education and training

Sponsorship amount

CHF 125'000

Sponsorship term

2024 - 2026


AO Alliance Stiftung


The need

The increasing number of women in medical school admissions is not reflected within the field of surgery worldwide, where on average only 12% of surgeons are women. Even greater gender inequality exists within trauma and orthopedics (T&O), where on average only 6% of T&O surgeons are women. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Africa, the figures are even lower. 

Women in LMICs are 40% less likely to consider surgery as a career, as they face obstacles to career development. These include lack of financial support for training, scarcity of mentorship and female role models, a bias against women surgical trainees who choose to have children, and pay inequality. In the T&O surgical specialty, the perception that physical strength is required is also often cited as a deterrent for women.

A partnership for change

The AO Alliance and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) created a scholarship program for women training to become T&O surgeons in COSECSA member countries, thus committing to advancing Sustainable Development Goal 5 to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

The program is designed to improve access to career development opportunities for women T&O surgeons in Sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, it fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion within T&O care and increases healthcare systems’ resilience by expanding the surgical workforce. 

Training programme supported by the Hirschmann Foundation

With funding support from Hirschmann Stiftung, the program is supporting five women undertaking their final years of surgical training. Among the participating member countries are Malawi, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

Scholarship holders