In My Own Words: Dr. Zafar’s Quality Improvement Workshops

In December of 2023, I traveled to Zambia and Ethiopia to lead Quality Improvement workshops. These workshops took months of planning meetings between UW-Madison faculty and faculty at the University of Zambia and Hawassa University.

My first workshop took place on Dec. 4 and 5, in Kabulonga, which is located in Lusaka, Zambia. We had a total of 15 participants in this workshop. The structure of the course had both lectures and interactive talks, with a lot of small group exercises on the second day. This led to many great inter-speaker and participant discussions throughout the course. These discussions, and the workshop overall, helped us foster relationships between the US and the University Training Hospital in Zambia.

On Dec. 10 and 11, I was in Hawassa, Ethiopia to present this workshop at Hawassa University. For this workshop, we had a total of 24 participants. Throughout the two-day workshop, there was a good mix of US and local speakers, which allowed participants to hear from different perspectives. Our time in Ethiopia at this workshop allowed us to engage leaders from the hospital and quality improvement unit and participants from different departments. This was important to help us continue to build relationships.

I am proud to have helped coordinate and present at these two workshops. As a result of the workshops, we saw that participants were inspired to lead their own quality improvement projects, and there was an increased culture around quality improvement. Overall, it was great to see the impact that these workshops made on the participants.

Syed Nabeel Zafar, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology.