Origins of SIGAf
The Surgery Interest Group of Africa (SIGAf) is a registered charity organisation. It was established in Lagos, Nigeria as an international virtual non-profit pan-African interest group. The charity organization officially launched on April 1st 2022. SIGAf has since grown to now contain more than 1000 members from different African countries within its different sub-communities.
Aims of SIGAf
Our aims differ by level of experience.
For medical students:
Early exposure to surgery will give you the necessary leverage that you need to build a career in surgery effectively, and we intend to give you that. We will expose you to educational opportunities, teaching opportunities and research projects. Eventually, we expect you to lead your own project and present them at conferences and scientific meetings. We also want you to meet seniors, connect with mentors and network.
For early-career doctors:
Assistance towards a career in surgery by providing opportunities and career talks to all interested is one of our aims for you. We will provide teaching and educational opportunities and we will offer opportunities to lead research projects. We expect that our early-career doctors will make use of the community by seeking, and gaining mentorship in a wide variety of surgical specialities.
For surgeons in training:
We intend to present you with the opportunity to be actively involved in teaching and learning, to be actively involved in projects revolving around global surgery. We hope that you would be able to reach back and assist young members to get into training programmes just as you have.
For practising surgeons with years of experience:
We hope to give you an opportunity to be part of the people influencing the next generation and encouraging African medical students and doctors to select a career in surgery. We want to give you the opportunity to teach them and guide them so they can improve remarkably in their career.
SIGAf as a decentralized organization
SIGAf is unique in its structure such that every section is an autonomous community with its own chair, plan and activities. It is regulated, however, by a central body of executives responsible for steering the organization and achieving its set goals. This allows members of different communities to experience a wide and diverse range of opportunities not readily available in other interest groups.
Becoming a member
Becoming a member is easy and free. Fill out the link to join and your name will be added to our database of doctors and medical students interested in surgery. Depending on your speciality of choice and region, you would then be added to your respective communities via WhatsApp. Wait times can take up to 2 weeks before addition to the respective group chats.
There are 12 speciality subgroups/communities in SIGAf, namely:
- SIGAf Neurosurgery
- SIGAf Cardiothoracic surgery
- SIGAf General surgery
- SIGAf Orthopaedics
- SIGAf Plastic Surgery
- SIGAf Maxillofacial Surgery
- SIGAf Obs and Gynae
- SIGAf Urology
- SIGAf Paediatric Surgery
- SIGAf Ophthalmology
- SIGAf Anaesthesiology
- SIGAf ENT
There is 1 teaching subgroup, meant for those interested in teaching.
There are four regional subgroups namely:
- SIGAf West Africa
- SIGAf North Africa
- SIGAf South Africa
- SIGAf East and Central Africa