There are many ways to make a difference in people’s lives. Some people do that through medicine. Others through technology. And even others through public health. For our speaker this week, he started as a clinician and has transitioned to a public health specialist. Global surgery requires an army – people from every discipline to come together to create change. One cannot be the master of all trades and expect to get the kind of results that a team of specialists would. One is not a surgeon by him or herself. It requires an interdisciplinary team and people committed to interpersonal communication to make miracles happen.


That is exactly what Dr Godfrey Sama is doing through the MUHAS-UCSF Cancer Collaboration. They are defining new care pathways and challenging the difference between advisory versus advocacy work. We also discuss his work within global paediatric surgery, revealing congenital abnormalities are responsible for almost half a million deaths/year, with 97% of those in LMICs. Join us as we talk about ensuring true collaboration including up-skilling and giving local ownership to both research and data analysis.

Dr Godfrey Sama Philipo: IFMSA Small Working Group on Global Surgery, InciSioN Co-founder, and Clinical Research Coordinator






“Public Health, Advisory vs Advocacy Work, and Interpersonal Communication”

Dr Godfrey Sama Philipo is a medical doctor and public health specialist working in Tanzania as a clinical research coordinator. His work collaborating with UCSF involves a complex multidisciplinary and multinational team of oncologists, pathologists, ENT surgeons, public health specialists, surgeons and radiologists; all working to improving cancer care in TanzaniaF. He also works with the University of Oxford Global Surgery Group (UOGSG) on addressing paediatric surgery in Tanzania.


He was trained at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania as a Medical Doctor (MD) before going to China for a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) at the Southern Medical University (SMU) graduating in 2014 and 2017 respectively. He is currently enrolled at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, for an online Masters in Global Surgical Care (MGSC).


Dr Sama worked as a Member of the IFMSA Small Working Group on Global Surgery and then co-coordinated the group for 2 years (2014 – 2016). He was one of the co-founders of InciSioN and served as a Member of Board of Trustees for 2 years (2017-2019). He participated in a number of global surgery conferences, including the Bethune Roundtable in Toronto, organised the first InciSioN Global Surgery Symposium in Leuven Belgium (IGSS 2018), collected surgical indicators for the World Bank Development Indicator (WDI) project 2017, and co-authored a number of papers including Lessons from developing, implementing and sustaining a participatory partnership for children’s surgical care in Tanzania and Letter from the future surgeons of 2030.