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Honorary Fellowship for inspirational Ugandan surgeon  

14 Dec 2023

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Dr Jane Fualal Odubu, President of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), for her remarkable contribution to the advancement of surgical practice.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Dr Jane Fualal Odubu, President of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), for her remarkable contribution to the advancement of surgical practice.  

Jane is a leading breast and endocrine surgeon based in Kampala, Uganda. Throughout her career she has been inspirational in her efforts to promote gender equality in the surgical workforce in Africa. Following many years as a leading light in COSECSA, she was the first woman to become President of the College in 2022.  

The award was presented at the COSECSA scientific conference last Wednesday (6 December). 

Upon receiving the award, Dr Fualal said “It was an honour to be awarded the prestigious award of the Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. This is such a deserving award for the long journey I have made. I am forever grateful for the recognition. It teaches me and everyone a lesson “whatever you do, work like you are not being seen”. Thank you for rewarding this journey I have made whole heartedly. I feel I now have the energy to do even more.” 

The Honorary Fellowship was presented by the President of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Mike McKirdy, who attended the meeting in Addis Ababa.  

He said: “It is my pleasure to be in Addis Ababa awarding Dr Fualal with an Honorary Fellowship today. I continue to be inspired by her work, which has been integral to the improvement in breast cancer and endocrine surgery, and her commitment to nurturing the next generation of surgeons.  

“We are incredibly proud to welcome her, and this award reflects the strong relationship between our Colleges, as we continue to work together to promote excellence in surgical practice, examinations,  education and to grow the surgical workforce worldwide.” 

Dr Fualal has broken many barriers for women in surgery both nationally and in the region. In 2016, she was awarded with the Independence Medal by then President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni. She has also served as the first female president of the Association of Surgeons of Uganda (ASOU) and is the Patron of Women in Surgery WiSA Africa.  

She was born in the Zombo district in the West Nile region of Uganda. She later gained her medical degree at Makerere University in Kampala and went on to complete three years of service in rural northern Uganda. In 1993, she returned to Makerere University and enrolled in the postgraduate Masters of Medicine (Surgery) where she was stationed at Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital.  

While working in Mulago, she served as a Medical Officer Special Grade before becoming a consultant surgeon in 2002. During this time, she pioneered the endocrine speciality in Uganda, linking it to established breast unit to become the Breast and Endocrine unit. The unit has been transformative in advancing multidisciplinary breast cancer care and women’s health services. In 2012, she became a Senior Consultant Surgeon and continues in this post today.  

Alongside her work as a surgeon, she is also a dedicated educator and a key medical advisor. She is currently Chair of the Uganda Medical Board and the International Students Coordinator at the Department of Surgery at Makerere University.  

This year the conference focused on technology, innovation, and surgical care in Africa. Royal College President, Mike McKirdy joined in conversation with the Presidents of sister Surgical Colleges in a panel discussion to share thoughts on the surgical workforce worldwide. 

The annual COSECSA scientific conference is a three-day event bringing together the global surgical community. This year, it was held in partnership with Surgical Society of Ethiopia and included the COSECSA examination and graduation. 

Category: College

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