Prof Zach Koto, Head of Surgery at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, was recently elected as the President of the Association of Surgeons of South Africa (ASSA). He wants to see ASSA grow to a point where it also mentors young surgeons apart from looking at the aﬀairs of surgeons in the country. Under his capable leadership, he hopes to see the association address many pressing challenges that include amongst others training, inadequate funding for training posts in public hospitals, equipment issues and the disease burden that threaten to overrun surgical programmes across various training platforms. Prof Koto is an ordinary individual who likes to work hard, challenge himself continuously to be a better version of himself. Focus on SMU reporter caught up with him to get insight into his role as the president of the association.
His thoughts on taking up the role of President. “I have previously served in the executive committee as a representative from academic centres as head of the department, I served in various capacities for many years in the association and I think for colleagues to have conﬁdence in me and elect me as president is indeed an honour and privilege. It is an association that organises surgeons across the width and breath of South Africa and does many things in terms of surgical care and training. I am looking forward to working with a very able executive committee under the chairmanship of Prof Paul Goldberg, Secretary Dr Claire Warden, and treasurer, Dr Mbulelo Khenene. I’m looking forward to working and serving as the president of the association,” said Prof Koto.