Surgeon Spotlight: Dr. Willies Silwimba

Fistula Foundation Treatment Network in Zambia

Dr. Willies Silwimba is the medical superintendent and consultant for obstetrics and gynecology at Chinsali General Hospital in Chinsali, Zambia. He is also a trained fistula surgeon in the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network (FFTN) in Zambia, where he operates out of two facilities: Mbala General Hospital and Chilonga Mission Hospital.

As a young practitioner, Dr. Silwimba is eager to learn from expert surgeons who are his colleagues in the FFTN. In that spirit, he was grateful for a chance to connect with other surgeons at the conference of the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons, held this past November. “The knowledge and skills I learned from the surgical procedures that were performed will go a long way in improving fistula care in Zambia,” said Dr. Silwimba.

For Dr. Silwimba, the path to becoming a fistula surgeon has been long but also rewarding. He received certification through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Fistula Surgery Training Program, and underwent training at Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. Then he conducted his first solo fistula operation. His patient had traveled nearly 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) to access care, and Dr. Silwimba was able to perform a successful repair surgery on her. “The woman went home with a smile,” he recalled. “This gave me the confidence and motivation to do more.”

Dr. Silwimba is grateful for the support of donors like you who help to fund this important work. “Your support will help us reach out to women in hard-to-reach areas of my country so that they can access life-changing surgery,” he said. “After surgery, the support will help these women rehabilitate and reintegrate into society.”

Published on December 27, 2022

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