Sharing Skills, Saving Lives


Women in Africa are 10 times more likely to die in childbirth than women in the Americas. 13% of Africans will die from an injury. Our goal is to reduce the maternal and injury mortality rates for people in Africa, where there are simply not enough skilled healthcare workers.


The Mobile Optimized Skills Training (MOST) project uses mobile surgical skills training to accelerate the number of healthcare workers that can be taught essential surgical skills. Unlike existing face-to-face courses which are taught by visiting doctors to a limited group, MOST will enable skill sharing in the community long after visiting teams have left. 


Over the past 20 years, CNIS has trained 150 Canadian medical professionals, 750 African course instructors and 25,000 African healthcare workers. With Project MOST, we will accelerate this by a factor of 10. With 5 mobile courses, we will train 25,000 African healthcare workers in the next 3 years and treat 2 Million patients.


Mobile training courses


Healthcare workers trained


Patients treated

Scaling up to share more skills and save more lives

Development so far

What stakeholders are saying

For 8 years I have been the principal surgical educator, teaching the CNIS program in Northern Uganda. To date over 400 doctors who graduated from the University took the course. The idea of expanding our capabilities to teach through case studies on mobile apps is an exciting innovation. MOST is another step forward introduced by CNIS and supported by Ugandan teachers to the benefit of our students and their patients.

Dr. Tom Okello

Senior Consultant Surgeon at Lacor Hospital, Uganda MB.ChB, M.Med Surg, MBA, PGDPM

I co-authored the SOO course and have taught it to junior doctors and assistant medical officers in Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania. I have also taught the FIRST course for midwives in Tanzania. These courses have been critical in teaching midwives to safely manage labour, deliveries and patient referral. They have also taught non-physician clinicians the decision-making and technical skills of operative delivery, including c-section. The mobile optimization of these courses will help Canadian teachers work with our African colleagues to address maternal and neonatal mortality in Eastern Africa and throughout the world.

Dr. Jan Christilaw, MD, FRCSC

CNIS Obstetrical Associate, President, BC Womens Hospital, Vancouver

In the past 20 years, CNIS programs have been taught to thousands of learners throughout Ethiopia. I have recently been recommending the CNIS programs to colleagues in West Africa. Through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, many more students now have access to computers . We are very receptive to having the active learning of CNIS programs on existing hardware. Therefore MOST would be a valuable contribution to the learning of the many Ethiopian students entering the health professions.

Miliard Derbew MD.FRCS.FCS(ECSA)

Associate Professor of Surgery, Consultant Paediatric surgeon School Of Medicine, College of Health sciences Addis Ababa University,Ethiopia

I would like to thank everyone at CNIS for introducing FIRST (Fundamental Interventions Referral and Safe Transfer) to the nurse midwifery program at Tanga. FIRST empowers students of in-service and pre-service to be more effective in skills, which is beneficial to the Tanzanian people. Mobile will make it so much easier to reach a lot of students and teach them midwifery skills.

Leah Makala

Nurse Instructor, Nurses Training Centre, Tanga, Tanzania


Ronald Lett, MD MSc. FCS(ECSA) FRCSC

CNIS Founder and International Director, Surgical Associate Surrey Memorial Hospital, Adjunct Professor of Surgery UBC and McGill University

Andrew Howard, MD,MSc, FRCSC

CNIS Board Chair, Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Jan Christilaw, MD, FRCSC,

CNIS Obstetrical Associate, President, BC Womens Hospital, Vancouver, Vice President, Provincial Women’s and Newborn Health, PHSA

Sam Bugis, M.D., FACS, FRCSC

Vice Chair CNIS Board, Clinical Professor of Surgery, UBC and Executive Director, Physician and External Affairs, Doctors of BC

Heather Scott MD

Associate Professor, Obstetrical Co-Director, Reproductive Care Program of Nova Scotia

Ivar Mendez, PhD, MD, FRCSC, FACS, DSc (hon), FCAHS

Neurosurgeon, Head of Surgery Saskatoon

Tarek Razek, MD, CM, FRCSC, FACS

Past Board Chair, Head of Trauma Services, Montreal General Hospital

Angela Enright, MD, RCPSC, CASIEF

Anesthesiologist, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, Former President,Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society

Lorne Braun, MA

CNIS Program Associate, International Development Consultant


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