When I became President of the Society I took a decision to attend the first available course at our much spoken about Surgical Skills Lab at the Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital.  As you will know we as a Society have backed Prof Alp Numanoglu in its establishment and got permission from you at our AGM some two years back in Cape Town to help fund Mr Clive van Geems, the Co‑ordinator of the Centre, financially for the first year to see if it could become financially self-sustaining.  

I therefore took the opportunity to attend, on 17 and 18 February 2017, the Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing Course at the Surgical Skills Lab.  

I arrived with a sense fear that here the President of the Society was going to be attending what I thought was a basic suturing course and it certainly took some humility to enter as a delegate with what was to be a team of Senior Registrars and other consultants in both the private and public sector.

Having attended a Suturing Course some twelve years ago I was absolutely astounded by the quality and level of this course.  From the very first introductory talk to two days later taking an advanced suturing test based on the gynaecology model from Europe I was in awe of how much we individually can learn with a refresher course but also realise that this course is not aimed at the Registrar or the Trainee but rather us surgeons who have been in practice for years, possibly believe we need no further retraining but realised that we all can benefit from it – hugely.  

I will encourage you, as members, to travel down and attend when courses are offered because the benefit is immense.   

It remains for me to, on behalf of SASES and the Exco, thank both Prof Alp Numanoglu and Clive van Geems for the amazing work they are doing – to encourage you to use this world-class facility which has surgeons travelling from other parts of Africa to attend courses and yet it is on our door step for us to benefit from its use.  Please see website info.

Wishing you well in your surgical year ahead.



Dick Brombacher




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