Scientific Letter

Mobile surgical services in primary care in a rural and remote setting: Experience and evidence from Yala, Cross River State, Nigeria

Emmanuel Monjok, Ekere J. Essien
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 1, No 1 | a31 | DOI: | © 2009 Emmanuel Monjok, Ekere J. Essien | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 February 2009 | Published: 28 July 2009

About the author(s)

Emmanuel Monjok, University of Houston, United States
Ekere J. Essien, University of Houston, United States

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Surgical conditions account for 11 to 15% of the global burden of disease. Yet, surgical services are very scarce in the rural areas of Nigeria where approximately 60 to 80% of the population resides. Among other basic contributing factors is the shortage of surgical workforce, since Nigeria’s few surgeons practise in the urban centre of the major cities. One way to respond to this acute shortage of surgeons is the training of generalist medical doctors to undertake surgery in rural areas. The introduction of mobile surgical services in rural populations as part of the existing primary health care activities in the Local Government Areas (districts) can reduce surgical morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. This can be done by the generalist physician with training and experience in surgery using local health staff and simple surgical equipment. A number of recommendations are made.


mobile surgery; sub- Saharan Africa; primary health care; rural health; Nigeria


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