For every 400,000 Ugandans, there is only one surgeon. This leaves many Ugandans in need of surgical care without any help. While many of the surgeons produced in Uganda leave the country for better pay elsewhere, the few that remain choose to stay and work in urban and big hospitals. What happens to people in rural areas who need such services? They are operated by health workers not trained in surgery. Makerere University College of Health Sciences with support from the International Development Research Centre has started an initiative to train and mentor suitable cadres of health workers in Essential Surgical Skills to improve access to surgical services and reduce mortality rate and disability attributable to surgically treatable conditions.