Surgical Residency Program

In February, 1996, a group of 15 missionary and African surgeons working indifferent hospitals met in Kenya to create the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons.  Their goal: to respond to the long-standing shortage of general surgeons for their hospitals and in their countries.

Since its inception in 1996, PACCS has increased its training programs from one to seven training programs in Gabon, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Kenya.  It has graduated seven general surgeons, all of whom are currently working in strategic rural hospitals in Africa.  The number of residents in training has grown to 30.  PAACS’s short-term goal is to train and disciple 100 African surgeons by 2020.

PAACS Bongolo

PAACS Bongolo was started in 1998 with the first graduate finishing in 2003. The requirements for perspective residents include an active Christian faith and graduation from a known African medical school. Dr. Keir Thelander is the Bongolo Program Director. The teaching is supplemented in some sub-specialty areas by visiting faculty including the disciplines of orthopedics, gynecology, ENT, Maxillo-facial surgery, plastic surgery, and anesthesia. In an average year there are 10 visiting faculty. As all PAACS programs it is a 5 year training program involving the full breadth of surgery. Bongolo has one resident per training year. Each resident also has the option, when available, to do outside rotations in Nigeria and Kenya. The program consists of lectures 3 times a week, teaching rounds, and intraoperative teaching. More than the medical side the residents are disciple in their faith in praying with patients, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them, and in weekly Bible Study. Being the longest standing PAACS program, we have graduated 5 residents from the program. Graduates have come from the countries of Congo (Brazzaville), Madagascar (2), Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. As you can see the focus of PAACS is to train and disciple African Christian Surgeons. Please pray for Bongolo Hospital as we train the next generation of surgeons and pray for the residents as they undertake the arduous task of learning the art and practice of surgery.

More information about PAACS

PAACS Bulletins

The Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons sends out a monthly Bulletin. For the most recent Bulletins, click below:


Bulletin  #100  September Edition of the PAACS Bulletin.

PAACS Graduation 2014!

The Bongolo Hospital PAACS Center held it’s 10th Graduation ceremony on July 6th at the Bongolo Alliance Church. Two Surgical residents graduated from the five year program. Dr. Jacques Ebhele (Congo-Kinshasa) and Dr. Simplice Tchoba (Gabon) became Surgeons in a ceremony held after the morning church service. A graduation meal followed.

PAACS Graduation 2013!

PAACS held its 9th graduation ceremony and celebration at Bongolo Hospital on July 28 for Dr.Philadelphie Dembele (Mali) and Dr. Ruffin Loua (Guinea-Conakry), the 9th and 10th graduates from Bongolo (27th and 28th from PAACS). During the same ceremony, Bongolo Hospital’s 3-year ophthalmology training program (POB) graduated its first ophthalmology resident, Dr. Elisee Baroua, from the DRC. Dr. Wendy Hofman is the Program Director. (From PAACS Bulletin #110)

First Gabonese PAACS Resident!

In 1994, a dream was launched of training Gabonese surgeons and that dream triggered the conversations that led to the birth of PAACS. In 2009 it came true! Dr. Simplice TCHOBA with his wife Neni, a dentist, and one child arrived at Bongolo Hospital as a PAACS resident. Both trained in Moscow and were fluent in Russian. Just prior to starting his training, Simplice completed six months of formal English training in Nairobi. Simplice began his training at Bongolo Hospital on August 19, 2009. Dr. Simplice Tchoba graduated as a Surgeon in July 2014.